Born in Colmar in 1834, Bartholdi initially moved to Paris to study architecture at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. After working alongside eminent artists and sculptors including Ary Scheffer and Jean-Léon Gérôme, he debuted at the Paris Salon in 1857 with a bronze group entitled La Lyre chez les Berbères, souvenir du nil. His background in architecture inspired him toward monumental sculpture, his most eminent design being La Liberté éclairant le monde, or 'The Statue of Liberty', which was installed upon Bedloe’s Island, New York Harbour, in 1886. The monumental bronze version of the present model, which commemorates the Gaul leader’s victory over Caesar at Gergovie in 52 BC, was first exhibited at the Salon in 1870, and stands in the Place de Jaude, Clermont-Ferrand. Bartholdi exhibited at the Paris Salons until the year of his death in 1904.
S. Lami, Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de l’école Française, Paris, 1914, vol. 1., pp. 63–69.