Giovanni Ciniselli was born in Novate near Milan, where he studied at the Brera Academy. Settling in Rome in 1856 he worked in the studios of Pietro Magni and Orazio Andreoni. As was the fashion of the day he specialised in biblical, allegorical or historical subjects, usually women sculpted in marble. Ciniselli produced a number of allegorical groups, as well as public monuments, including his statue of Count Welserheim in Vienna, and his statue entitled Reading, a seated girl, was bought in Rome and is displayed in the Manchester Central Library and Ruth is at Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Garden. He was awarded a medal at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1881.