Born in Paris in 1848, Jules Coutan (d. 1939) was a pupil of the sculptor Joseph Cuvelier. Awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1871, he first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1871, then at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle. Head of the Manufacture de Sèvres from 1891 to 1894, he took over Flaguière's position at the Académie in 1900. He was commissioned numerous works by the city of Paris, for buildings such as the Palais de Justice, the Hôtel de Ville or the Bibliothèque Nationale. Some of his works, such as the present allegorical figures, were cast in bronze by Thiébaut.