An illegitimate child, the charming Aglaé Savatier quickly understands the necessity of finding herself a protector. This would be the art collector Alfred Mosselman. Aglaé, who preferred to rename herself Apollonie, then hosts numerous artists in her salon on Rue Frochot. There are musicians such as Berlioz, painters and sculptors like Meissonnier, Vidal, Jalabert, Courbet, writers including Gautier, Dumas father, Flaubert, the Goncourt brothers, and poets such as Musset, Nerval, Baudelaire, who make her their muse or model. Enchanted by the one who inspires certain poems in ‘The Flowers of Evil’, Baudelaire becomes her secret lover. All have great respect for this free, intelligent, and audacious woman who, unlike other women of the demimonde, seeks more to learn than to please.
Before leaving her for a younger woman, Mosselman, proud to show off to everyone the irresistible curves of his mistress, had her sculpted by Auguste Clésinger: arched back and lascivious pose, Femme piquée par un serpent caused an immense scandal at the Salon of 1847 but immortalized the beautiful Apollonie forever.