The statuettes Lazarus and Cain Slaying Abel can be viewed equally well from all sides because the figures are twisting - or serpentining - around their own axes. Such serpentinata is a typical feature of Mannerism, a courtly style that de Vries appropriated while studying under the sculptor Giambologna in Florence as a young man. In Denmark, King Christian IV had a penchant for the sophisticated and distinctive Mannerist style.
On Danish soil Adrian de Vries is best known for the Neptune Fountain (1615-18), which was commissioned by Christian IV for Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød.Like the fountain, Lazarus and Cain Slaying Abel were created in de Vries’ old age. Perhaps de Vries even gave Christian IV the statuettes in connection with the commissioning and payment of the Neptune Fountain.