A lecturer in botany, Philippe-Isidore Picot de Lapeyrouse, who was mayor of Toulouse from 1800 to 1806, wanted to expand the old botanical garden begun in 1730. A parcel of land controlled by the Capitouls (an old enclosure of the Discalced Carmelites) was chosen and the garden developed on the present site. His garden counted nearly 1300 species, particularly Pyrenean flora. It was a botanical garden for students, where the poor could collect medicinal plants. By decree of July 27, 1808, Napoleon gave the grounds and the buildings of the garden to the city. The garden was later enlarged on the side of the Grande Allee (avenue Fr'd'ric Mistral), and developed to host the Universal Exhibition of 1887. The sculpture dates from this period.