(1848 - 1893)
19th century Florence was the centre for a highly productive school of sculptors whose work was widely sought after throughout Europe, and latterly the United States. This group of figurative sculptors included Ezio Ceccarelli (1865-1927), Vittorio Caradossi (b.1861), Filippo Gnaccarini (1804-1875), Fernando Vichi and Cesare Lapini, their work heavily influenced by that of the neo-classical sculptor Antonio Canova 1757-1822. Cesare Lapini was born in Florence in 1848. He became one of the leading sculptors of his generation producing works in marble including allegorical works, copies after the Antique, genre subjects, and portrait busts. These he sold with great success along with works by his contemporaries in his gallery in Florence, to travellers on the Grand Tour, which, from having been limited in the 18th century to the aristocracy and minor royalty now included the wealthy bourgeois from Britain, Germany, Russia, France and of course the United States. He exhibited a number of sculptures at the ‘Esposizione Generale Italiana di Torino’ in 1884, including “Sorpresa” and “Il primo bacio”, also exhibiting in Rome in 1888. Lapini was widely admired for the delicacy and refinement of his technique, the fine patina and the emotional quality with which he imbued his figurative work. He was highly successful both as a sculptor and as the owner of a gallery retailing sculpture throughout Europe and the United States.