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Sculptor John Hughes, who was born in Dublin, studied at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and later, from 1890 to 1892, at the National Art Training School, South Kensington, London. He subsequently studied in Paris and returned to Dublin in 1894, to teach modelling at the Metropolitan School of Art and Sculpture at the Royal Hibernian Academy Schools. He gave up teaching in 1901, to devote himself full-time to sculpture and lived from 1903 on the Continent, mostly in France. Among his best known works are the Queen Victoria memorial in Dublin and the Gladstone memorial at Hawarden. The model for this delicate and beautifully modelled piece of sculpture was almost certainly Thérèse Fontaine, whom Hughes had used as a model for a standing figure the previous year.