Sirio Tofanari was important on the early 1900s Italian decorative arts scene primarily as an animalier. Following the French fashion of the day, he concentrated above all on monkeys, of which he eventually modelled five different species.
This passion for his work was such to drive him to frequent zoos in Paris and London, where at the South Kensington Natural Museum in particular he conducted detailed research in animal anatomy and behaviour.
The work on display at the Carraro Foundation is emblematic in this sense: a female baboon depicted in the act of moving along in slow circumspection with her cub clinging happily to her back.
Tofanari took part in numerous exhibitions over the years, frequenting the Venice Biennale assiduously and with notable success from the 1909 edition onward. After abandoning the animalier genre, he dedicated the final part of his career to sacred sculpture, occasionally evoking the communion of Saint Francis with animals.