Barye based the figure of Theseus on a drawing by Henry Fuseli of an executioner which was taken in turn from a fresco of the Beheading of John the Baptist by Andrea del Sarto in the Monastero dello Scalzo, Florence. Further inspiration comes from a sheet of drawings of boxers by Géricault.
R. Ballu, L'Oeuvre de Barye, Paris, 1890, p. 91; G. Benge, Antoine-Louis Barye, Sculptor of Romantic Realism, Pennsylvania, 1984, pp. 116-118; M. Poletti and A. Richarme, Barye: Catalogue raisonné des sculptures, Paris, 2000, no. F31, pp. 106-107
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