Engraved 'Gennariello' in marble on the pedestal.
Signed and dated on the back 'Lot - Torelli Firenze 1883'
According to his costume, Gennariello is a young shepherd from the Roman countryside and more specifically from the Abruzzo mountain range, a pifferaro. According to tradition, these shepherds went to Rome a few days before Christmas to honor the Virgin, by playing her the tunes of the pifferi (an instrument similar to the oboe). This tradition will inspire several composers like Berlioz as well as many painters and sculptors staying in Rome in the 19th century. It is also part of a larger phenomenon, the success of popular Italian scenes. The pifferaro will therefore become one of the typical images of Italy.
The Italian sculptor Lot Torelli was born in Florence on October 30, 1835 and died in 1896. He undertook his early sculpture training at the fine Art academy of Florence and traveled to Paris in 1858 to enhance his skill and artistic eye. He actively exhibited at the major international exhibitions from 1871 to 1883.