In legend Marsyas, a satyr from Phrygia came across a flute previously discarded by Athena because she had felt that the act of playing it disfiguered her face. He played it so well that listeners claimed that not even Apollo could do better. Unwisely, Marsyas chose not to contradict them and agreed to a contest with Apollo, which the god ultimately won. Apollo imposed a terrible punishment on the presumptuous satyr by hanging him onto a pine tree and stripping him of his skin. The River Marsyas was said to have been formed by the tears of the nymphs and satyrs who wept for him.
The attribution of this model to Legros is based on the description of a bronze version in Dresden, previously included in the 1765 Inventory of the King of Poland as by Legros.
Walter Holzhausen Die Bronzen Augusts des Starken in Dresden, Berlin, 1939