Born in Prague on 27 January 1957, Jaroslav Róna is a sculptor, painter and performer belonging to the postmodern generation of the 1980s which has experienced the period of communism, its fall and transition to democracy. He was a member of the Tvrdohlaví (The Stubborn), a significant art group which participated in activities leading to liberation of the art scene from socialist demagogy. He has also worked as a theatre and film designer and participated in architectural work. The main focus of his work is creating sculptures for public space and painting. From 2005 to 2012 he taught the art of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. His most famous sculptures in public space are, among other things, the following: Franz Kafka Monument in Prague for which he received the Grand Prix of the Society of Czech Architects; the Red Giraffe in Prague; the equestrian statue of Jošt of Luxembourg in Brno, the Mythical Ship in Bratislava; and the Child from Mars on Mount Ještěd. Since 1985 he has exhibited in Bohemia and after 1989 also abroad. He has illustrated several books, including 1984 by George Orwell and The Citadel by Saint-Exupéry. He has published two books of his drawings and texts.
The Sitting Lioness statue was created as a proposal for a five-meter monumental statue that would enliven and thematically complete the Parukářka hill (the highest peak in Prague) in the specific Prague district of Žižkov. The theme reflects the distinctive (somewhat self-ironic) patriotism of a rebellious, predominantly working-class neighborhood that has always been critical of the ruling establishment. The lioness was designed as a proud partner and at the same time a rival of the official Czech symbol – the two-tailed lion, which symbolically resides on the opposite hill in the premises of Prague Castle. The distinctive ornamental relief on the surface of the statue originally arose for technological reasons, i.e. as a recognized supporting metal frame for attaching the sculpture's forged copper plates, but eventually became an element that turns a simple sculptural subject into a magical object, reminiscent of an Egyptian or Assyrian archaeological artifact.