Atalanta, a virgin huntress, did not wish to marry as her father the king intended. She therefore asked that each candidate run against her in a footrace. If the candidate won, Atalanta would be his. If he did not, he would be killed and his head would adorn a pole in the stadium. However, on running against Hippomenes, Atalanta's curiosity was piqued and she allowed him to win.
The current model of Atalanta is based on Pierre Lepautre's marble of 1704 while the current model of Hippomenes is after Guillaume Coustu's marble of 1712. Both were originally made for the gardens at Marly and are now in the Louvre.