This bronze is a reduction of one of four marble sculptures representing the four elements commissioned in 1674 for the gardens of the royal palace at Versailles. Envisioned by Charles LeBrun, the leading artist and designer for King Louis XIV, it was first sculpted by Gaspard Marsy, and after his death, finished by his protege, Anselme Flamen. The group symbolizes Air, a subject taken from the ancient Roman writer Ovid's Metamorphosis
, and depicts the god of the north wind Boreas abducting the Athenian princess Orithyia while battling another wind, probably the god Zephyr. Today the original marble version can be found in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Marsy was one of the foremost sculptors and decorators of the French royal palaces during the reign of Louis XIV in the seventeenth century, working at the Louvre, the Tuileries, and at Versailles.