A Self-made animal sculptor, Léon-Marcel Marceau (1892-1941), more often referred to as Lémar, was born in Paris. His financial situation did not allow him to study and he began to work at the age 15 for the Post Office. Enlisted in 1914, he was seriously wounded and released before being re-drafted.

Upon his return to Paris, Lémar studied anatomy and palaeontology at a Museum in parallel with his work. He would visit on a daily basis the Jardin des Plantes where he encountered the greatest animal artist of the era: François Pompon, they would later they become close friends.
Although Lémar loved to paint and draw exotic animals, when he started modelling, he devoted himself almost exclusively to his new passion. While he was seeking for a sense of reality in his first works, he gradually shifted his stylisation, leading him to architectural and smooth designs.

Over the course of his career, Lémar regularly took part in the great Parisians Salons and in 1931, he became a member of the “Groupe des douze”, the Animalier Artists group set up on the initiative of François Pompon and Jeanne Poupelet. The group gathered notable artists such as Paul Jouve, Charles Artus, Georges-Lucien Guyot and his great friend Gaston Chopard, among others. He participated in both the exhibitions hosted by the group in 1932 and 1933.

Highly appreciated by his contemporaries, his work is now rediscovered and in 2013, a retrospective exhibition was dedicated to him at the ‘Musée de la Piscine’ of Roubaix. This important exhibition included rare sculptures as well as drawings from his sketchbooks.


2018.09.22 – 2018.10.12
Galerie Dumonteil Paris
2017.09.23 – 2017.10.10
Shanghai, China