The plaster model has belonged to the collections of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris since 1975. The particularly realistic posture contrasts with the work of stylization of the mane, in a spirit of geometry heralding the decorative art of the 1920s. This African lion is the reissue of a work from 1910 presented to the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp. Born into a family of artists in Milan, Bugatti moved to Paris with his parents in 1904. He assiduously frequented the Jardin des Plantes where he met the famous founder and gallery owner Hébrard, who immediately had him sign a contract for exclusive edition. From 1905, he exhibited his works at the Salon d’Automne of the Grand Palais in Paris and frequented the greatest artists of the time, such as Modigliani, Picasso, Derain and Apollinaire. At the invitation of the Royal Society of Zoology, he moved to Antwerp in 1907, where he remained until 1914, exhibiting regularly in Brussels and Liège. Returning to Paris after a short stay in Italy, he ended his life in 1916, after a meteoric career which left him in good stead in the pantheon of the great sculptors of the twentieth century. The brown patina has beautiful green nuances and perfectly highlights every anatomical detail.