Leaning casually on a pillar with disheveled hair signifying his creative genius, author Alexandre Dumas père turns, his focused expression adding dramatic intensity to the informality of his pose. In his left hand he secures sheets of his manuscript on the pillar, which is inscribed with the titles of his most famous works. Author of The Three Musketeers and the Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas was one of the most prolific and popular French authors in the 1800s. Sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse fashioned this terracotta as a model for the large bronze monument to his close friend that was erected in Dumas's hometown of Villers-Cotteret in 1884. Using simple broad monumental forms for the body, he expressed Dumas's artistic power as an almost physical force. In contrast to the large planes of the coat and limbs, the sculptor crisply defined the facial features and hair with a sharp tool. Since Dumas had died over thirteen years earlier, Carrier-Belleuse derived the facial features from an earlier marble portrait bust, made by another artist and exhibited in 1876.