The present bronze portrays one of the characters from the historical novel Prince Serebryany by Alexei Konstantinovich Tolstoy. The heroine, Elena, marries Boyar Morozov in order to escape the attentions of Prince Viazemsky. Morozov then accuses Viazemsky of kidnapping Elena, while Viazemsky claims she went with him willingly. In the scene depicted by Lanceray, Tsar Ivan the Terrible resolves the dispute by ordering the two men to fight in single combat. The details of the figure (such as Boyar Morozov's flanged mace) are taken directly from Tolstoy's novel.
For the original wax model, see L.A. Dementieva, Album of Models by the Sculptor Eugene Lanceray, pp. 62-63, 314, no. 16.
For further discussion of this model, see G. Sudbury, et al., Evgueni Alexandrovich Lanceray: le sculpteur russe du cheval, Paris, 2006, pp. 107-108. A patinated bronze version of this model was sold Christie's, London, 29 November 2010, lot 445.