Lanzirotti studied in Palermo and then in Paris, under the tutelage of Joseph Michel Ange Pollet. He is also believed to have been a pupil of Valerio Villareale, Bertel Thorvaldsen and Pietro Tenerani in Rome (Vicario, op. cit.,
p. 598). His first major work, The Education of Bacchus,
was exhibited at the 1855 Exposition Universelle at Paris. In 1860 Lanzirotti joined Garibaldi's Expedition of the Thousand, and was imprisoned at Gaeta for two months, before returning to Paris, where he kept a studio. In 1863 he was appointed portrait sculptor to King Victor Emmanuel II, and was commissioned to make sculptures of the Conte Verde and Duke Vittorio Amedeo I, for the Palazzo Reale in Torino. He was admitted to numerous Academies, and was awarded the Cross of Knights of Saints Maurizio and Lazzaro, admitted to the Order of the Crown of Italy, and awarded the Order of Isabel the Catholic.
The present playful group has appeared on the market in bronze, but the marble version is rarer. It is sometimes accompanied by its pendant titled Boy with a Parakeet (for example, sale in these rooms, 16 November 2016, lot 2).
A. Panzetta, Nuovo Dizionario degli Scultori Italiani dell'Ottocento e del Primo Novocento, vol. 1, Turin, 2003, p. 513; V. Vicario, Gli Scultori Italiani dal Neoclassicismo al Liberty, vol. 2, Lodi, 1994, p. 598-99