The present model is a reduction of a stone monument designed for a niche in the Grand Amphitheatre of the new Sorbonne. The city of Paris commissioned the work in 1886, six years after the artist had returned from London. Thus, it was conceived in Dalou's mature stage, a period devoted to monuments of celebrated men of the era, rather than the gentle, maternal subjects of his earlier career. A plaster example of Lavoisier was exhibited at the Salon of 1890 and the bronze at the Salon of 1901. One of only three models to be edited during Dalou's lifetime, the bronzes were cast in small numbers and carefully supervised by the artist. After Dalou's death, Susse continued to produce lost wax editions of the model
Credited as the founder of modern chemistry, Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier was guillotined on 8 May 1794. His duties in the office of farmer-general allowed him to pursue his investigations and he was made an Academician in 1769. He successfully applied chemistry to agriculture and discovered oxygen by his correct interpretation of Priestley's facts.
Another example of a posthumous Susse cast of this model was sold