Member of an old Carrarese dynasty of sculptors, Giovanni Lazzerini the Younger (d.1895) entered the Carrara Accademia di Belle Arti in 1848 and studied under Ferdinando Pelliccia. In 1853, his marble relief Patroclus Slaying Sarpedon won him a scholarship to Rome, enabling him to study in the workshop of the celebrated sculptor, Pietrò Tenerani (d.1869). After 1859, Lazzerini returned to Carrara to work in the family studio in the Corso Rosselli, taking over its running on the death of his half-brother, Alessandro, in 1862. Reflecting the strong Neoclassical influence of Tenerani and, in turn, of the latter's own mentors, Bartolini (d.1850) and Thorwaldsen (d.1844), his work included both his own wide range of subjects, as well as compositions for other Italian and foreign sculptors. His long career culminated in his appointment as Director of the Carrara Academy from 1889 to 1893 and Honorary Professor of the latter in 1894.
The original version of the present work, entitled La fanciulla che intreccia una ghirlanda, was first executed in 1856, during Lazzerini's period of scholarship in Rome, and is now in the collection of the Accademia di Belle Arti, Carrara (see A. Panzetta, Dizionario degli Scultori dell'Ottocento, Torino, 1989, vol. I, p. 164 and vol. II, p. 110, for a photograph of this version). The date and inscription on the base of this later, identical version, indicate that this too was executed during the sculptor's apprenticeship with Tenerani, probably just before his return to Carrara. It is therefore not surprising that the subject-matter, an adolescent beauty, and its refined and graceful treatment, owe much to the work of the latter, and in particular to his Psyche Abandoned, a version of which was sold Christie's London, 15 July 1993, lot 268.