The 'Lion au Serpent' is an image of the conquering force, a gift from the artist to King Louis-Philippe as a symbol of his nascent power.
Antoine Louis Barye exhibited his 'Lion au Serpent' for the first time at the 1833 Paris Salon where he also exhibited a plaster bust of the Duc d'Orléans. At the end of the Salon, Barye was awarded a Croix de Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. Benefiting the Royal protection, he was subsequently commissioned to execute a marble version of the 'Lion au Serpent'.
At the 1836 Salon, Barye exhibited for the first time a bronze version of the 'Lion au Serpent' cast by Honoré Gonon.
This master piece remains in the eye of the public one of his most emblematic works.
In 1848, he was offered a job at the Louvre where he became 'mouleur des musées nationaux et chargé de la conservation du musée des plâtres' (caster of the national museums and in charge of the conservation of the plasters).
This present plaster model was probably made to help the foundry with the different parts of the sand mould.