Auguste Clesinger was born in Besancon, in the Doubs department of France. His father, Georges Philippe, was a sculptor and trained Auguste
in art. Auguste first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1843 with a bust of vicomte Jules de Valdahon and last exhibited there in 1864. At the 1847 Salon,
he created a sensation with his Woman bitten by a serpent, produced from life-casts from his model Apollonie Sabatier (the pose being particularly suitable
for such a method), thus reinforcing the scandal with an erotic dimension. Apppolonie Sabatier was a salonniere and the mistress of Charles Baudelaire and
others. The sculpture's beauty was praised by Theophile Gautier:
"Clesinger has resolved this problem of making beauty without cuteness, without affectation, without mannerism, with a head and a body of our own time,
in which can be recognised his mistress, she is beautiful."