Richard James Wyatt (d. 1850) began his career in Rome in 1821 working in the studio of Antonio Canova and then under then under Thorvaldsen upon Canova's death. Among his patrons were the Duke of Devonshire, Lord Charles Townsend, the Earl de Grey and Lord Grosvenor and would later carry out commissions for Queen Victoria. Wyatt, among other acclaimed British sculptors living in Rome at the time, was highly popular among his peers, including the celebrated artist John Gibson. Given their close friendship, it is not surprising that this figure of a standing shepherd boy relates closely to Gibson's Cupid disguised as a Shepherd Boy commissioned by Sir John Jonhstone in 1840. Following the death of his friend, Gibson said of Wyatt that 'he acquired the purest style and his statues were highly finished' (Lady Eastlake, Life of John Gibson, R.A. sculptor, p. 130).