Born in East Prussia (now Lithuania), Arthur Waagen pursued his career as a sculptor in Paris where he set up his studio at 40, Cours-de-Vincennes. He was renowned for his fine and realistic modelling, and produced a series of groups with a North African flavour, exhibiting at the Salon from 1869 to 1887.
The present group of a Berber tribesman, also known as Chasseur arabe or Cavalier aux chiens, was conceived circa 1870. A fine example of the Orientalist genre, it is the artist's most prominent and successful model. Another cast is in the Dahesh Museum, New York.