Barrias's most celebrated work, an homage to advances made in scientific exploration, first appeared in marble at the Paris Salon of 1893 by its lengthier title La Nature mystérieuse et voilée se découvre devant la Science (no. 2543) and was fittingly acquired by the faculty at l'Ecole de Médecine in Bordeaux. The figure resurfaced at the 1899 Salon simply titled La Nature se dévoilant (no. 3186), executed in polychrome marble and Algerian onyx, a taste that gained popularity by pioneers in polychromy such as Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier and Eugène Cornu. However, the first casts exhibited by Susse were shown in various sizes and to great critical acclaim at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, prompting orders for mixed media models, such as the present example. Another example of La Nature incorporating ivory, lapis and porphyry was sold Sotheby's, New York, 4 November 2011, lot 77 ($134,000).