Originally excavated in 1545 at the Baths of Carcalla, the marble group of the Farnese Bull was moved to the Palazzo Farnese in Rome by 1546. In the 1550s the group was restored at the suggestion of Michelangelo and placed in the palace courtyard to serve as a fountain. The popularity of the work was such that in 1662 Louis XIV tried unsuccessfully to purchase the sculpture. By 1826 the work was housed in the Museo Nazionale, Rome.
Another bronze cast of the Farnese Bull was sold in these rooms, 24 April 2003, lot 244 ($14,340).