Carpeaux (d.1875) was born in Valenciennes and worked in Paris before being admitted to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1844. Studying under Rude he was influenced by his naturalistic approach until 1850 when his style became strictly classical. He won the Prix de Rome in 1856 with his statue of Hector. In Rome, he was influenced by Donatello and Michelangelo and soon abandoned classicism to become a leading Romantic sculptor after his group of Ugolino and his Sons was sent to the Salon of 1863. His work was dominated by realism and an attention to anatomical detail which secured many State commissions and private portraits. Tragically, Carpeaux died of cancer at the height of his career.
The present model of La Candeur was executed in plaster along with its pendant, L'Esérance in 1867, and both were presented to the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Valenciennes in 1882. Another plaster of La Candeur was sold at the Carpeaux atelier sale, Paris, Galerie Manzi, Joyant, 30 May 1913, lot 40. A third plaster cast with the stamp Propriété Carpeaux appeared at Sotheby's Monaco in 1992 and 1993.