The present bronze is based on one of the most celebrated works by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Ugolino and his sons, which the artist first began in 1857 whilst studying in Rome. Representing a character from Dante’s Divine Comedy, Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, who is imprisoned in a tower and forced to devour his children and grandchildren, the group exhibits Carpeaux’s profound admiration for Michelangelo, whose work he discovered in the Eternal City. This bronze is based on a mold taken from a plaster model now in the Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, of similar dimensions and signed in the same way 'JB Carpeaux Roma 1860’ (PPS01572). The Petit Palais plaster, made by the Collas reduction process, served as the model for bronzes of this size. The date 1860 refers to the year in which Carpeaux refined the composition of the group to its final state and made the first full-scale plaster which was shown at the Villa Medicis in Rome in 1861 and then at the Paris Salon of 1862. The history of the model is thoroughly documented in J. Wasserman, ed., Exhibition catalogue, Metamorphoses in Nineteenth-Century Sculpture, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1975, pp. 113-123, in which a nearly identical bronze with the same signature to the base in the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, is illustrated (p. 123, fig. 15).