Located in a scenic location within an exedra supported by four Ionic columns, the monument was intended to "perpetuate the memory of the many Bolognese fallen in the nation's battles and political struggles", in which the Monari himself had personally participated.
The first model of the monument made of clay in 1868 earned him the esteem of the whole city, acknowledging that he had "stupendously rendered the most effective concrete expression of the noble concept of public tribute to the glorious dead who gave their lives for this Italian nation". A public subscription was therefore launched to allow Monari to produce the final sculpture in plaster, which in 1883 was placed in Certosa. When in 1898, for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Eighth of August (Battaglia dell'8 agosto), it was decided to erect on the Montagnola garden a grandiose monument celebrating the expulsion of the Austrians from Bologna, the sculpture was originally used as a model. It was later discarded as the depiction of a wounded lion was not considered appropriate and representative of one of the greatest moments of the Bolognese Risorgimento. Following a competition an impressive bronze statue by Pasquale Rizzoli was instead chosen for the Montagnola site, still admired today in the city.