Born in 1861, Vittorio Caradossi studied under Augusto Rivalta (d. 1925) at the Accademia di Belle Arti and was later commissioned to execute a number of civic monuments. Though he is most remembered for his celebrated statue of the Renaissance artist Desiderio da Settignano, the model for which was exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exposition universelle, the artist specialized in depictions of celestial and ethereal nudes, such as the present group of intertwined nymphs. A virtuoso marble-carver, Caradossi effortlessly achieved uninhibited movement in his exceptionally balanced works, all of which were impressively hewn from a single block of Carrara marble. Conceived with fluid, sinuous and often organic forms, his studio's output coincided with the emergence of a 'new style' at the turn of the 20th century - the Art nouveau - which was lauded for its ingenuity in all manner of sculpture and decorative art at the 1900 Exposition universelle. Technically superb, most of his oeuvre is dominated by these highly decorative and commercial groups, such as Tre Nereidi (Three Mermaids), Il Fumo che sale verso le Nubi (Smoke Sweeping up to the Clouds), and the present lot Shooting Stars.