A painter and sculptor, Henry Cros was one of the most fervent champions of polychrome sculpture at the end of the 19th century.
Fascinated by technical experiment, this singular artist was the first to make works using coloured wax, and then glass paste, for which he rediscovered and often improved on ancient techniques.
At the end of his life he was based in a workshop at the Sèvres Factory. He was a singular artist, like other figures of the end of the century.
The polychrome terracottas, which are uncommon for Cros, were often used to prepare pieces in glass paste for the same subject. This very complete work, perhaps the one that was exhibited at the Salon of the Society of French Artists in 1903, should be considered as a finished work.
An eclectic and cultured character, in the text Cros revisits the myths and legends of antiquity with a contemporary eye. Here, in a confined space, like a metope at the Parthenon, he depicts a centaur uprooting a tree and a dryad or tree nymph mourning the death of the tree, linked to her own death.