Born at Cambrai of a noble family in 1546, Pierre Francqueville (or Pietro Francavilla, as he was later to be known) was discouraged from becoming a sculptor. After work on Emperor Maximilian's tomb in Innsbruck, he managed to reach Giambologna's Florentine studio through a letter of introduction by Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Francavilla would eventually become one of Giambologna's most important assistants and a celebrated independant sculptor in his own right.
There are two known versions of this bronze. One is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London -- where it is described as a French bronze of the late 17th century which may record a lost marble by Francavilla. The other -- originally given by André Le Nôtre to Louis XIV -- formerly in the Wernher Collection at Luton Hoo, was sold at Christie's London, 5 July 2000, lot 63.