Clément Léopold Steiner's best known piece is arguably the gilt bronze statue titled La Renommie de la Guerre, which decorates one of the four pillars on Pont Alexandre III. The three other statues were each commissioned by other leading sculptors of the Third Republic, specifically La Renommie au combat was sculpted by Pierre Granet, La Renommie de l'Agriculture by Gustave Michel and La Renommie des Arts by Emmanuel Fremiet.
In the present work, Steiner has deliberately chosen to bring to three dimensional life to one of William Adolphe Bouguereau's captivating compositions titled L'Amour au papillon from 1888 (fig. 1). Other sculptors have produced numerous bronze casts after another famous work of Bouguereau's titled L'Amour vainqueur as early as 1887 - though these mostly do not bear the signatures of their actual creators. And most recently an alabaster statue - also not signed - after Bouguereau's The Rapture of Psyche was sold at Christie's, New York, 23 April 2004, lot 106.
(fig 1.) William Adolphe Bouguereau, L'Amour au papillon, Private Collection.