Gianmaria Benzoni (1809-1873) was born to a humble family near Bergamo, but his incredible talent as a carver was soon noticed by various patrons, who allowed him to improve his skills and reach notoriety and wealth.
The Veiled Rebecca
In 1828, he moved to Rome, where he studied at Accademia di San Luca and later opened a small workshop near Piazza del Popolo, in Vicolo del Borghetto. In time, his business grew enough that he was employing about fifty rough-hewers.
The "modern Canova" (as he was called in his day) created "Zephyr Dancing with Flora" in 1870. The Roman goddess of flowers and the personification of the west wind were very popular subjects for painters and sculptors throughout the history of art - including Botticelli, Brueghel the Elder, and Giambattista Tiepolo.