Ugo Zannoni was born in Verona on the 21st of July 1836. After an apprenticeship in the workshop of Grazioso Spazzi, he was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice, and finally to the Brera Academy.
In 1865, he created the statue of Dante Alighieri, situated in Piazza dei Signori in Verona and commissioned on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the birth of the poet. Later he opened a studio in Milan and achieved great success at the exhibition of 1872, so much so that he was appointed Knight of the Crown by Vittorio Emanuele II.
In 1883, he became the Director of the Brera Academy, replacing the deceased painter Francesco Hayez. In those years, he created the Monument to Aleardo Aleardi for home town and some busts for the Protomoteca, as well as numerous tombs in the Monumental Cemetery. Towards the end of the 1880s he returned to live in Verona and carried out other works for the city cemetery and for some churches. He also donated some of his sculptures to the Galleria d’Arte Moderna. He died in Verona on the 3rd of June 1919.