He first studied sculpture with Leonidas Drossis at the School of Arts (1876-1883) while also working at Dimitrios Filippotis’s workshop, and then with Antonio Allegretti and Girolamo Masini at the Rome Institute of Fine Arts; he also maintained his own workshop. In 1888, he settled in Athens, where he soon established a workshop, employing several assistants. In 1911, he was appointed professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts but immediately resigned because of disagreements with his colleagues and the Ministry of Education.

He presented his work in group exhibitions in Greece and other countries, including the Olympia in Athens (1888), Paris International Exhibition (1889) and Panhellenic exhibitions (1938 and 1939).

Georgios Bonanos lived during a period of transition for Modern Greek sculpture, when neoclassicist ideas survived in parallel with a trend towards realistic treatment. He employed the teachings of ancient Greek sculpture, which he considered his great model, as much as those of 19th-century neoclassicist masters, with whom he had become familiar during his studies in Rome; at the same time, he introduced a realistic style more evident in his choice of subject and less in treatment. Boasting of a broad range of subjects, he made a great number of statues, busts, funerary monuments and heroa, copies after ancient works, and non-commissioned works of free inspiration, characterized by their monumental qualities, harmony, measure, balance and assurance in composition.