Louis Tuaillon (d. 1919) studied at the Berlin Academy under Reinhold Begas (d. 1911) from 1879 to 1883. In 1885 he travelled to Rome, where he maintained close association with the German artistic community in Italy. His friendships with the painter Hans von Marees (d. 1887) and the sculptor Adolph von Hildebrand (d. 1921) led him to abandon Begas's flamboyant Neo-Baroque tendencies in favour of a more classically-inspired style, the most celebrated example of which is his work Amazon on Horseback (1895), purchased by the Berlin National Gallery.
The present work, entitled Hercules b/uandigt den erymanthischen Eber, was originally executed in 1899 and was Tuaillon's winning entrant for the competition for the State commission of a pendant sculpture to Albert Wolff's Dionysus with Eros and a Panther, placed in the entrance hall of the Berlin National Gallery. Despite winning the competition, plans for erecting Tuaillon's group in the Gallery were aborted and, consequently, a marble version of the work was never executed. Depicting the fourth of Hercules's twelve labours, the model was first cast in bronze in 1901, towards the end of Tuaillon's stay in Rome, and was shown at the Fourth Berlin Secession exhibition the following year (now in the Kunsthalle, Bremen). In 1962, at the request of the sculptor's daughter, a life-size version of the group was erected in the Berlin Tiergarten, alongside a life-size cast of Tuaillon's Amazone.