Born in Turin, Rosso studied briefly in Milan before moving to Paris, where he was based for much of the time from 1889. His work parallels that of his great contemporary, Auguste Rodin, in the impressionist modelling of form and attempts to capture movement and light; in fact, Rosso complained that Rodin had stolen his ideas. Rosso's favourite medium was wax. Wax had a similar translucency to skin and also gave his figures a dematerialised, ethereal quality. From 1906 until the end of his life, Rosso made no original works but instead produced casts of earlier sculptures.