The Hunter with his dog was commissioned by the Duc de Gramont for his Château de Vallières, Paris, in 1898. It was to have been a 3-metre high marble statue and was intended to decorate the central stairwell of the château. Dalou had undertaken a commission for the Duc de Gramont six years earlier, creating Les Epousailles (The Nuptials) 1892, in marble for the garden. Hunter with his dog was never developed beyond the sketch, howver, as Dalou's health deteriorated and he was unable to carry out further work on this project.
The sketch is clearly inspired by the antique statue of Diana the huntress, of which a seventeenth-century copy by Martin Desjardins (1640-94) was locaetd in the grounds of Verasailles. A School of Fontainbebleau painting derived from the same soruce also graced the Louvre at that time. The sketch remained with the Gramont family who authorised an edition in bronze in about 1898. This was cast in an edition of ten by the Hébrard Foundry, Paris.
Michael Lloyd & Michael Desmond European and American Paintings and Sculptures 1870-1970 in the Australian National Gallery 1992 p.52.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010