Exhibited in 1850, the near life-size plaster version of Jaguar et lièvre, the initial title for Jaguar dévorant un lièvre, marked Barye's triumphant return to the Paris Salon after a fifteen year absence. A bronze cast, commissioned by the le ministre de l'Intérieur the following year for a modest sum of 4,000 francs was subsequently shown at the 1852 Salon and the 1855 Exposition Universelle. Acquired by the The Louvre in 1886, where it remains today, this chef-modèle in bronze was joined in 1912 by the original 1850 plaster model as a gift to the museum from Jacques Zoubaloff. The model was also edited posthumously by Ferdinand Barbedienne in the original size, as seen here, and two reductions.
Another cast measuring the same length as the present lot was sold at Christie's, New York, 28 October 2003, lot 224 ($59,750).