Born in Besançon in 1814, Jean-Baptiste Clesinger (known as Auguste) (d.1883) began exhibiting at the Salon in 1863, making his début with a marble bust of the Vicomte de Valadhon. He specialised in portrait sculpture and is best known for the colossal bust of Liberty on the Champs de Mars in Paris. He won numerous medals and was created Officier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1864. He married the daughter of Georges Sand and moved in fashionable circles during the Second Empire, bringing him many commissions for portrait busts from the celebrities of that period. Most of his work was sculpted in marble but several of them were also cast in bronze, such as the present Bacchante.