Joseph Michel-Ange Pollet (1814-1870) studied in Italy under Villaréale, Thorwaldsen and Tenerani before settling in Paris, where he became close to the court of the Second Empire.
Pollet's most celebrated work, Une Heure de la Nuit was first exhibited in plaster at the Salon of 1848. Greatly acclaimed, a marble version was immediately commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior at a cost of 15,000 francs. The original showed the figure of Nuit with a star to the centre of her forehead and two putti at her feet. Popularly reproduced in bronze by fondeurs Labroue and Colin, these putti, crucial for the support of the central figure in marble, could be dispensed with, thus accentuating the elegance of the flight of Nuit.