Jesús Fructuoso Contreras was born in Aguascalientes and studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico before moving to Paris. He won a medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1889 and a grand prix in 1900. He was a pupil of Manuel Noreña and executed many monuments and portrait busts for his native Mexico. Discussing Contreras' work in 1921 Kineton Parkes observed: 'His work has Canova-like qualities, which render it unlike most modern sculpture on the American continent'. This comment is certainly well illustrated by the present example of L'Eveil.