John Gibson, born near Conwy in Wales, was already twenty-seven when he travelled to Rome. He would stay there all his life. In 1842 Henry Sandbach, a Liverpool merchant, commissioned this figure of Aurora for his wife Margaret, who had become a close friend of the sculptor. The Sandbach family later built a gallery in their new house, Hafodunos, to display their Gibson sculpture.
A bust of this statue is in the Yale Center for British Art.