Emile-Louis Picault (1833-1915) trained under Louis Royer, the Dutch sculptor, and exhibited a wide range of sculpture at the Paris Salon between 1863 and 1909. His Egyptian subjects are some of his most popular works and follow in the tradition of ethnographical decorative sculpture so popular in France during the latter part of the 19th century.
In all of Picault's designs for his Egyptian figures the previous generation's work on ancient Egypt is immediately noticeable. Picault was inspired by ethnographic findings of the mid-19th century and drew directly from the immensely popular vogue of Egyptomania that flourished in the wake of the success of performing arts in recreating this era, in particular Giuseppe Verdi's Aida from which Picault took direct visual quotes from the set and costume designs of Pierre-Eugène Lacoste.
This pair of bronzes was probably cast by G. Servant, a Parisian fondeur who specialized in Egyptian Revival pieces and who was a medallist at the major international exhibitions between 1867 and 1887.
An identical pair of figures sold The Di Portanova Collection, Christie's New York, 20 October 2000, lot 91 ($54,050)