Born into an affluent Milanese family, Ludovico Pogliaghi (1857-1950) studied painting, sculpture and architecture at the Accademia di Brera under Pietro Magni, Giovanni Strazza and Giuseppe Bertini. Like many of his contemporaries centred around Milan at the turn of the twentieth century, Pogliaghi prospered from the proliferation of Church commissions at that time, and he is perhaps best known for his monumental bronze doors for the Duomo in Milan. Completed in 1906, as part of renovations to the façade, the doors are fluidly sculpted with swaying, graceful figures depicting the 'Life of Christ'.
Pogliaghi's sculptural style was uniquely born of the region and the dictates of the great Duomi, however it was not limited to the Renaissance revival or Neo-Gothic but instead drew together Romantic and Renaissance influences with an Art Nouveau freedom of form. Of Pogliaghi's monumental figural sculpture, that which bears the clearest comparison to the present lot are a series of figural tablets at the Basilica di San Antonio in Padua. Depicting the Prophets, the tablets line the nave of 'The Chapel of the Holy Sacrament' and were originally modeled in situ in plaster, before being cast in bronze. They have Pogliaghi's characteristic fluidity of form and of them, it is Saint Zechariah who is particularly similar to the present lot. His face is sculpted with distinctive incised diagonals which also feature to the kneeling Triton (see F. Castellani, Lodovico Pogliaghi, Padua, 1998, p. 39).
Pogliaghi also received private commissions for interior sculpture and a fireplace surmounted by a bronze figure of Prometheus is recorded as being made for the Palazzo Turati in Milan as part of renovations carried out in the 1880s.