Giuseppe Bessi (1857 – 1922) was born in Volterra, Italy and is considered one of the most important representatives of the Italian Salon sculpture. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. In 1872 he established his workshop, and also became the director of the Art School of Volterra. He was famed for his lifelike busts and sculptures, such as prominent figures Ludwig van Beethoven, Joan of Arc, and Dante Alighieri’s muse Béatrice. He predominantly worked with alabaster and marble and combined Neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles. Bessi’s works were included in the World’s Fair in Paris, Turin, and St. Louis. His sculptures and busts are in the collections of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Ecomuseo dell’Alabastro in Volterra.