Aristide Petrilli was an italian sculptor active from the late 1800s to early 1900s.
Petrilli was born in Tivoli, Lazio and studied in Florence at the Art Institute and subsequently at the Accademia di Belle from 1889-90. He worked with Raffaello Romanelli before establishing his own studio at via Serragli, 152, in Florence. He specialised in romanticized figures of classical and historical themes, often using coloured marbles or bronze or gilt highlights, and is most remembered for his maidens in the Renaissance style.
This suggestive sculpture represents Sappho, Greek poetess of Lesbos. Born into a noble family lived between the 7th and 6th century BC and according to ancient sources it was, for several years, sent into exile in Sicily. Petrilli engrave the famous poetess with great finesse, carving a gentle and thoughtful visage with deep eyes and the head softly tilted to the left. On her hair a bronze laurel wreath which recalls her love for poetry. The elegant shawl resting on her shoulders presents embroidery which are highlighted with color. The bust is leaning over a withe marble base that has inscriptions in ancient Greek and two theatrical figures together with a lyre to enhance the classicism of the sculpture.
Petrilli's works were exhibited in the Salon of the Société des Artistes Francais in 1896 (n° 3744 "Deux haut-reliefs" and n° 3745 "L'Empereur Napoléon Bonaparte"). He subsequently exhibited a bust of Joan of Arc at the Paris Exposition Universelle (1900), and Wrestling Bacchantes at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exhibition (St. Louis World's Fair). The Wrestling Bacchantes is now displayed in the Atascadero, City Hall Sunken Gardens, California and several other pieces at the Hearst Castle. His realistic bronze Ritratto di Giacomo Puccini is now in Montevarchi, Italia.