After an unsuccessful effort in 1864 to win a commission for a portrait of Empress Eugénie, Carpeaux proposed to the imperial couple a portrait of their son, Eugène-Louis-Jean-Joseph Napoléon, the Prince Impérial (1856–1879). By August 1865, a lifesize portrait of the nine-year-old prince was complete and the plaster was soon shown publicly at the Salon of 1866. The standing portrait was also executed in marble and cast in silver-patinated bronze, exhibited at the Salons of 1867 and 1868 respectively. Carpeaux chose to portray the prince as a bourgeois lad, shown with the emperor's dog Néro, a gift from the Russian ambassador. In 1869, the Sèvres Manufactory began to produce biscuit porcelain reductions that faithfully reflect the surfaces of marble.
Signature: Incised on left side of pedestal: J B CARPEAUX
Marking: Incised on back of pedestal:  SEVRES in oval;  H R (mark of Henri Robert, active 1889–1933, mouleur répareur);  S / 1912 in a triangle incised on pedestal