Giovanni Maria Benzoni (1809, Songavazzo-1873, Rome). A 19th century Italian master sculptor. Benzoni attended the Saint Luc Academy in Rome and was a student of Giuseppe Fabri. His works were renowned as the highest quality and he produced pieces for Popes Gregorio XIV and Pio IX, the emperor of Russia, the Sultan of Turkey and the Royals of Italy and Holland. In 1861 he was charged by the Papal Government to exhibit in the International Exhibition of Fine Arts in Anversa. That exhibition was organized by the Royal Society to encourage the fine arts. All the nations with their greatest masters and masterpieces were invited. G.M. Benzoni, a representative of the Italian art, was able to be on top of the charge given by Pope Pio IX, of which he gained his praise, because of the varied works Benzoni did for him, among them his noteworthy portrait of the Pope dated 1860.
Bezoni’s participation at that event confirmed his international fame. In the “Salon d’Anvers” catalogue of 1861, all the sculptures made by Benzoni and exhibited in that event are listed among the masterpieces of the most important masters of the nineteenth century . Benzoni’s most recognized works were “Innocence Protected by Fidelity”, “Young Girl Watching a Butterfly” and “Gratitude”.