The monumental terracotta lions offered here are based on one of the marble lions carved by Antonio Canova for the base of the tomb of Pope Clement XIII. Unveiled on 6th April 1792, this monument was one of the first, and most ambitious, neoclassical tombs in St Peter's Basilica, Rome. The two lions can be found flanking its entrance, with the one on the left depicted awake, and the other asleep, symbolically representing the Pope's energetic work and his moderation, respectively. This iconography evidently interested Canova and the lions, which are also emblematic of power, can be found on other tombs such as that of Francesco Pesaro, in the Museo Correr, Venice and the tomb of Maria Christina of Austria, in the Augustinekirche, Vienna (S. Androsov, M. Guderzo and G. Pavanello, Canova, Milano, 1976, nos. 118 and 134 respectively).