The original models were executed in biscuit de Sèvres and exhibited by Simon-Louis Boizot (1743-1809) in the Salon of 1786. They are variations of the same subjects treated by Marsy and Girardon which were the reductions of marble enlèvements planned by Le Brun and erected in the garden at Versailles in 1684-1687 to decorate the Parterre d'Eau.
The subjects are drawn from Greek mythology. Pluto, king of the underworld, is said to have observed Proserpine, daughter of Ceres, picking flowers in a meadow. Inflamed by love, having been hit by one of Cupids arrows, Pluto swept Proserpine away on his chariot and carried her down to his kingdom below. Similarly Boreas, the north wind, loved Oreithyia, the daughter of the legendary king of Athens, and carried her off against her will to be his bride. Two 18th century bronze versions are in the Wallace Collection, London.
Simon-Louis Boizot was the son of Antoine Boizot, painter and born in the Gobelins, Paris. He began as the pupil of Slodtz and obtained a first prize for sculpture in 1762, which admitted him to a scholarship in the royal schools. He made the usual journey to Rome as a pensionnaire of the Academy, and became an academician in 1778, his morceau de réception being his statue of Meleager now in the Louvre. From 1774 to 1785 he was in charge of the sculpture section of the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, for which he executed numerous models. During the Revolution he escaped the eclipse which overtook so many of the royal sculptors, and was made a member of the commissions appointed to take over the protection of works of art and science, and contributed to the decoration of the column of Le Grande Armée in the Place Vendôme.