Although since the 1990s there has been no lack of studies on Spanish sculpture in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the historiographical impact of the visual arts in the Iberian peninsula during the period of Eclecticism continues to be relatively limited. Consequently, and in view of the incipient nature of research on artistic recognition in Spain, this article examines the consecration process of sculptors in the main artistic centre in that period, Madrid. To achieve this aim, the cases of Antoni Moltó, Josep Alcoverro, Marià Benlliure and Agustí Querol, four sculptors with different lives and artistic careers, are analysed; the latter three were successful, whereas the first was not. Four circles of recognition can be established. These circles do not totally coincide with those described by Alan Bowness and nor were they successive in time.