Originally conceived in 1896 as a surtout de table, Le Char de Minerve, partnered with a similar chariot group Le Char de Diane and figure group Persée et Andromède, was executed in biscuit porcelain by Sèvres for the Palais de l'Elysée. So popular and superbly executed was the surtout that Le Figaro vehemently praised Le Manufacteur de Céramique de Sèvres and went as far to say that "le succes du biscuit de Sèvres ressuccité fut complet" (C. Chevillot, Emmanuel Fremiet: "Le main et le mutiple", 1989, p. 163). The overwhelming response to the biscuit edition prompted numerous demands by both Frémiet and l'Administration de Sèvres, aimed at the Ministère des Beaux-Arts, asking for permission to cast elements of the surtout in bronze. With permission ultimately granted on 1 July 1899, Frémiet also requested that the only fondeur to be offered the casting rights should be Ferdinand Barbedienne. Le Char de Minerve, cast by Barbedienne, debuted at the Exposition Universelle in 1900.