Monument to the Triumph of the Republic (1879-1899)
From his London exile Dalou took part in the contest launched by the City of Paris on 21st April 1879 for a monument to the glory of the Republic. He made several drafts before sending to Paris his definitive project which would join the exhibition in the Ecoles des Beaux-Arts of the eighty-three models to compete. Too far from the academic principles, his project only won a second prize but pleased the public. The City of Paris, under the leadership of Ulysse Parent - a municipal rapporteur who saw in the project a "manifestation of a new revolutionary art" - nevertheless ratified the purchase promise made to Dalou.
Returning to Paris in April 1880, he launched the project. Around 1884, experiencing errors of proportions which were imperceptible on the initial model, Dalou had to review the whole. He worked again several times on the central figure of the Republic before being satisfied enough to make the mold of the same height as the two highest figures of Blacksmith and Abundance (4.50 m high).
In 1888, the completed mold of the monument is ready to be cast. It shows the Republic at the top surrounded by allegories of Labor, Justice and Peace blending with Abundance. The lost wax cast originally planned is impossible in such dimensions and the founder Thiébaut Frères is entrusted with the execution of the sand cast of the monument. Twenty years after the launch of the project, it would take another two months to assemble the different elements for the construction of the monument on the former Place du Trône renamed Place de la Nation.