Born and raised in Palermo, Nicolini studied under Vincenzo Ragusa at the Museo Artistico Industriale. He later moved to Rome to work for Giulio Monteverde, where he won the National prize with his relief of Le Marie al Sepolcro
and the sculptures La Meditazione
and Il risveglio.
His oeuvre ranges from literary to historical and mythological subjects. He is mostly known for his sculptures in Rome, such as La Calabria
(1907) and Trionfo Politico
(1911). In London, his work Credi a me
is kept at the Tate Gallery. Nicolini exhibited a work titled 'Satiro e Ninfa' in San Francisco in 1915, which may refer to the present lot (op. cit.
A. Panzetta, Nuovo Dizionario degli Scultori Italiani dell’Ottocento e del Primo Novecento, vol. 2, p. 651-652.