The statue depicts a giant mother bear with a knife driven into her heart while she is literally bear-hugging to death the struggling Stone Age hunter responsible for her mortal wound. Though both the hunter and the bear will clearly die within seconds of the statue’s frozen moment, the answer can be found on another statue less than a hundred yards away. By the entrance to the near-by Gallery of Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology, a small monument in honor of Fremiet himself shows the artist at work. However, an engraved plaque on the back of this statue's pedestal portrays another Stone Age hunter -- but this time old and with a long beard. Gaunt and wizened, he is dragging the corpse of a bear cub over the rocky ground. While the Dénicheur d'oursons hunter may have died, his offspring, unlike the mother bear’s, survived and grew old.
|The dying bear|
|The dying hunter|
|The surviving offspring with the rising sun and blessings of civilization.|
One of the most renowned and prolific animal sculptors of the 19th century, Fremiet created an impressive body of work including the famed ‘Gorilla Abducting a Woman’ which strongly influenced the imagery of the film King Kong.
|The original Kong.|
He is most famous for the gilded equestrian statue of Joan of Arc at the Place des Pyramides which is made of bronze but often referred to as the Iron Maiden of Paris. Responsible for the life-size elephant which stands in front of the Musée d'Orsay, Fremiet also made two bronze replicas of Napoleon III’s favorite basset hounds.
|And his trapped elephant|