Louise and Alexandre were the children of architect Alexandre- Théodore Brongniart (1739-1813), famous for designing the Stock Exchange building in Paris and transforming the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Thanks to his mother who was a painter and his father who was a caretaker at the Louvre museum, Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) became acquainted at a very early age with the best sculptors of his time, such as Jean Baptiste Pigalle and Jean Baptiste Lemoyne.
He is considered the «Sculptor of the Enlightenment » and fixed in stone the portraits of important figures of the time, including the Tsarina Catherine the Great of Russia, Diderot, Voltaire and Rousseau. As the most brilliant portraitist of the 18th century, Houdon maintained all his life a strong interest in the theme of childhood. The portraits of the Brongniart’s children made in 1777 express with strength and tenderness this passion for a subject that never became old-fashioned.