Génie, in terms of sculpture, or painting, describes a kid with wings, in this case he is sitting on the Pegasus winged horse. Sometimes the feet are covered with foliage ('rinceaux', in French).
This sculpture, made in 1877, replaced a Napoleon III sculpture from the sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye. (There is a similar sculpture on the Jules Michelet tomb, visible at the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris). It is made in hammered copper.
Antonin Mercié (1845-1916) was a famous French sculptor, who received the Prix de Rome in 1868 (when he was 23 years old!). He made a famous 'David' bronze sculpture (edited at 100 copies, the large one is visible at the Orsay Museum in Paris. He sculpted the Arago monument in Perpignan, a marble sculpture for the tomb of the wife of Charles Ferry, called 'Souvenir'. And several other monuments, for Jules Ferry, Meissonier, Louis Faidherbe, Adolphe Thiers, and a 'Regret' sculpture for Alexandre Cabanel tomb. And also a large stone sculpture called 'Justice'...
Below, photograph of Antonin Mercié in his studio (115, boulevard Saint Michel Paris).
|Mercié portrait (1900) done by Ramon Casas - Musée Nat. des Arts - Catalogne - Spain|
Paris1900 L'Art Nouveau.com