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Its discovery follows the identification of a first statuette – its pair but not its twin – in 1982, which is now in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles but was once in the Royal Collection too.
The importance of the statuettes is not simply the Cellini link, but also their purpose. They were the models for 10ft bronze satyrs planned for the doorway of the porte Dorée at Fontainebleau and had been commissioned from the artist by François the First of France.

Records show that the statuettes were shown to the king in 1542 but the work was never completed, with Cellini leaving France in 1545.

Writing in The Burlington Magazine, Jonathan Marsden and Jane Bassett explain that the differences between the two satyrs – one old and distorted (the Getty statuette), the other young and tauter – represent opposing types, “animating and greatly increasing the artistic interest if the composition”.