Desbois studied at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1873 and worked in Pierre Cavelier's studio. He then spent two years in New York working with John Quincy Adams before returning to Paris to make his debut in the 1875 Salon with a bust entitled Orpheus.
He retained his distinctly lyrical and sensual style despite working closely with Rodin in Eugne Legrain's atelier. Rodin's influence on the younger sculptor is evident as his style moved increasingly towards realism. There was mutual admiration and they forged a long-standing relationship, collaborating on several works. Desbois sculpted in marble en taille directe, as well as working in ivory and wood.
The present work shows Desbois' ability to model outstanding naturalistic effects creating a vivid sense of the powerful movement of this subject.