Ernest Dubois was born in Dieppe and enrolled at the École des Arts Décoratif and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Studying under the successful Alexandre Falguière and Henri Chapu, he also studied with Antonin Mercie, who said he was his favourite student. Dubois’ first important commission was for the sculpture on the tomb of the renowned orator Bishop Jacques-Bénigne, placed in the Cathedra at Meaux in Seine et Marne, east of Paris. He exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon from 1892 winning a medal for his sculpture Jeune Adolescent.
Le Pardon is his most well-known and celebrated work. Exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1894 it was awarded a first-class medal and purchased by the State, a marble version was then commissioned for the Palais du Luxembourg. A plaster version, given by the sculptor’s wife in 1931 is in the collection of the Musée des Beaux Arts in Dijon and another marble version dated 1909 is in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek in Copenhagen.