Aimé-Jules Dalou was a Realist sculptor. He first studied at the Petite Ecole in 1852, then moved onto the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the following year, where he studied painting and sculpture under Abel de Pujol, Duret, and Carpeaux.
During the Commune, he was a curator of the Louvre and was later exiled (1871–79) to England for his revolutionary sentiments. Where, he found success, aided by his friend Alphonse Legros. He taught modelling and sculpture at the National Art Training School (now the Royal College of Art) and at the South London School of Technical Art. In the late 1870s, the Royal family commissioned a memorial to one of Queen Victoria’s deceased grandchildren in Windsor Castle; this led to his first public project, the fountain Charity near Royal Exchange. His realistic modelling influenced many English sculptors of the time. He returned to Paris in 1880 and realized his ambition to become a monumental sculptor by producing the largest monument of the Third Republic, entitled The Triumph of the Republic (1899), in the Place de la Nation, Paris. Because of his rejection of institutions of the Academy and the Salon, Dalou, provided an alternative for contemporary artists by helping to found the Société des Artistes Français and later, the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1900.
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