Born in a family of artists, Barrias studies in the parisian Beaux-Arts in 1858 and is taught sculpture by Cavelier. He wins the Prix de Rome in 1864 and works on the parisian Opéra. He exhibits in the Salon from 1870 and becomes a successful sculptor. Barrias is the author of the bronze statue “la défense de Paris” a celebration of the greatness of France, despite the defeat during the 1871 war. He becomes a teacher at the parisian Beaux-Arts, Segoffin and Despiau being some of his students, and a member of the Institut. Barrias' work features many marble and bronze sculpture, conceived in a academic and neoclassical style. His work is displayed in many public places in Paris and in museums such as Lyon Beaux-Arts, Orsay or Petit Palais.