Sculptor and architect, Donato Barcaglia (d. 1930) studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. Possessing a precocious talent, he exhibited his first work, The Harvester, in 1866 at the age of only seventeen. It was acquired by the Società di Belle Arti and then placed in the Palazzo Reale in Milan by Prince Umberto, where it remains today. Barcaglia swiftly established a prominent studio and enjoyed a highly successful career. He exhibited his work internationally, winning major awards, and as early as 1873 his work La Bolla di Sapone was selected by the Milan Royal Academy as the their entry for the International Exhibition in Vienna that same year. Contemporary reviews likened Barcaglia to Canova, and he received numerous commissions, both from the State and from private patrons, ranging from portraits to large ideal figures. Many of his works are conserved in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan.
Another example of this same group sold Sotheby's London, 22 June 1990, lot 154, £37,400.