Ten years before the centenary of the French Revolution, the City of Paris organised a competition for a monument to the glory of the new republican institutions, to be erected in the East of Paris.
The Maurice brothers won the competition and their Monument to the Republic
now stands on Place de la République.
However, Jules Dalou’s project impressed the councillors, who commissioned him to make a bronze version for today's Place de la Nation. This Triumph of the Republic was inaugurated in 1899.
A keen Republican, Dalou chose to give his monument a sense of the momentum that was carrying humanity towards a new golden age : the triumphant Republic stands on top of the chariot of the Nation, drawn by lions guided by the Spirit of Freedom; Labour (symbolised by a blacksmith) and Justice stand beside of the chariot; Peace distributes the fruits of plenty.
The whirling movement of the composition and the exuberant realism of its figures make this study a masterpiece that revolutionised the conventions of sculpture at the time.