Benôit Civiletti of Palermo (d. 1899) was one of the most renowned naturalistic sculptors of the Italian School. His first work, Mercury, attracted the attention of two prominent artistic and scholarly patrons, the painter, A. D'Antoni, with whom he studied for twelve years, followed by the Roman Sculptor, B. Delisi. In 1863, having exhibited Faun to acclaim and granted a pension by the City Council, Civiletti moved to Florence to continue his studies with G. Dupré. In 1865, he returned to Palermo, and in 1872, exhibited the present subject, Little Dante, in marble at the National Exhibition in Milan (illustrated A. Panzetta, Dizionario degli Scultori Italiani dell'ottocento e del primo novecento, vol. II, p. 60, fig. 244). The model was reproduced in several medium, one in plaster is preserved in the Gallery of Modern Art, Palermo. Civiletti continued to exhibit regularly, and sculpted monumental tombs and mausoleums. He was awarded the 'médaille d'or' in Paris, and later was granted the 'Légion d'honneur'. In 1880, Julius Caesar won a 'médaille d'argent' at the 1880 Great Exhibition, London.