Auguste Moreau was born in Paris in 1834, the youngest son of sculptor and painter Jean-Baptiste Moreau. He studied with his father and also under Aimé Millet, Augustin Drumont and Jean Thomas. Each of the three Moreau brothers – Hippolyte, Marthurin and Auguste – have become renowned for the quality and the beauty of their figurative sculpture.
This work is untitled and would seem allegorical. It might have been inspired by the ancient Roman sculpture The Laocoon whereby Laocoon and his sons struggle with snakes – big snakes. This statue inspired many artists from Michelangelo to Rodin. The snake is a symbol for the many things that we struggle with in life – mostly negative.
This figure in this composition is strong and dynamic. His full bearded face shows all the anguish of the struggle. His legs and torso are stout and taut.