Charles Valton (1851 - 1918) was born in Pau, France on January 26th 1851. He was a student of both Antoine Louis Barye and Emmanuel Fremiet, capturing the finest points of both masters. From Barye, Valton learned the importance of detail and definition of his subjects and from Fremiet he received the sensitivity and ability to project his subjects in a natural state. From the age of fifteen Valton spent much of his time at the Jardin des Plantes with Barye and Fremiet who were both directors at that famous Paris zoological garden. Valton exhibited over seventy models at the Paris Salon from 1868 until 1914 winning several medals. In 1883 he became Professor of sculpture at the Germain Pilon School and in 1906 Valton received the Cross of the Legion d'Honneur. He is best known for his models of the big cats as well as for using a mixture of materials in his sculpture such as white marble to depict snow or the use of granite as a base for his animals.