A student of Jouffroy and Falguière at the Ecole des beaux-arts, Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercié (1845-1916) won the Grand Prix de Rome at 23 years old with his work Thésée vainqueur du Minotaure. In 1872, he sent the plaster model of his work David vainqueur to the Salon, for which he won the first class medal. At the same time, he received La croix de la Légion d'honneur at the Villa Medici. His return to Paris, in 1874, issued in a long and brilliant career with numerous commissions, notably the monuments for Louis-Philippe and Queen Marie-Amélie for the Royal Chapel at Dreux (1886).
From 1880, Mercié began painting but it was his sculpture that won him awards and medals. In 1892, he entered L'Institut de France and in 1913, three years before his death, he was nominated as president of La Société des artistes français.