Despiau produced a total of some 150 sculptures—not a great deal for a career that spanned fifty years. He was so exacting and so focused that the time of execution did not count for him. And if it did not matter to him, he could not see why it should matter to his models. Despiau never sculpted without a model. There are several surviving plaster states in which same model is reworked with only slight variations. Despiau had a hard time bringing an end to his quest for perfection and the inner beauty of his sitters.
His oeuvre includes over 1,000 drawings and approximately 150 sculptures (bas-reliefs, tablets, figures, and busts). It is worth mentioning Assia (his most widely reproduced work, perhaps his masterpiece), La Bacchante, Le Nu Assis, Eve, Le Réalisateur, Apollon, La Petite Fille des Landes (his native region), La Jeune Fille des Landes, Cra-Cra, and L’Adolescente. Then there are portraits of Paulette, Madame Derain, Maria Lani, Agnès Meyer, Mademoiselle Elie Faure and Princess Murat, as well as several portraits of men including Claude-Raphaël Leygues and Despiau’s friend André Dunoyer de Segonzac.