Armand Toussaint (d.1862) studied under David D'angers and exhibited at the Salon from 1836. He became a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur in 1852. The present model was commissioned for the ministre de l'Intérieur on 23 February 1850. The work was shown at the Salon of 1850-1851 (no. 3598), and a version in silver was shown at the Salon of 1847 (no. 2161). The figure, along with a companion model entitled Une esclave indienne portant une torche, was destined to be decoration at the palais de l'Elysée in Paris.
An example of Barbedienne's 112 cm. reduction of the pair, sold Christie's East, 29 April 1999, lot 331, ($16,100).