Napoleon III, admiring the first World's Fair in London, organized the second one in Paris in 1855. He built the Palais de l'Industrie for the occasion as well as ancillary buildings where the products of all nations could be discovered and compared.
England in 1851 had made a great display of the richness of its colonies, and France replied by emphasizing its numerous painters, luxury manufactures, and agricultural products. In the decorative arts, French bronze-makers, cabinet-makers and ceramists are among the best in the world. The furniture of Jeanselme, Tahan, and the skilful Rivart, the goldsmithery of Christofle and Deniere, and the porcelain of Sevres are praised.
The Universal Exposition of 1855 was the first to be held in Paris. It is at this exhibition that the young Mathurin Moreau is revealed to the public with his sculptures of the Fountain of Tourny.