Originally, the sculpture was commissioned by Cardinal Peretti Montalto, serving as a fountain to decorate the pond in the garden of his Villa Peretti Montalto on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. It was purchased by the Englishman Thomas Jenkins in 1786, from whom it was purchased later that year by the painter Joshua Reynolds. After Reynolds death in 1792 it was sold to Charles Pelham, who kept it in the garden of his home in Chelsea, London, Walpole House. His descendants moved it in 1906 to their country house, Brocklesby Park, Lincolnshire. It was bought from the family by the Museum in 1950.