The Tadolini family occupies a fascinating position in the history of Roman sculpture. Four generations of the family of stone carvers lived and worked in the same studio for some 150 years. The building still exists today, on the corner of the Via del Babuino over looked by the Greek Church of S. Anastasia. It is now the Canova-Tadolini Museum. Adamo Tadolini was an assistant in Canova's studio and was responsible for producing the working models for many of Canova's most important works.
Scipione, the eldest son, was trained in his father's studio. His elegant nude Ninfa Pescatrice set him apart from his father and Canova's style. Moving away from a strict classicism, Scipione imbues classical subject matter with the Romantic spirit. Scipione was overwhelmed with commissions, including a marble for the church of Gonfalone in Rome, an equestrian of Bolivar for Lima, a St. Michael for a wealthy Bostonian and the very important bust of King Vittorio Emanuele I. Pope Pius IX and the queen of Italy were amoung the many notables who visited his studio.
Scipione's Schiava Greca is in keeping with the Romantic fascination with Ancient Greece. He draws on antique models, such as the Capitoline Venus, for inspiration, but gives the subject an alluring exoticism of his own.
A. Panzetta, Nuovo dizionario degli scultori italiani, vol. 2, Turin, 2003, p. 900-1, fig. 1808