Antonio Mancini (the Artist) was twelve years old when he was admitted to the Institute of Fine Arts in Naples, and his talent developed quickly at the school under Domenico Morelli, and Filippo Palizzi. In 1872, at the age of twenty, he exhibited two paintings at the Paris Salon. Antonio Mancini worked at the forefront of the Verismo Movement, a home grown Italian response to nineteenth-century Realist Aesthetics. His subjects mainly included poor children, young circus performers, and musicians he found in the streets of Naples. His portrait of a young acrobat in Il Saltimbanco captures the fragility of the boy whose lost childhood is spent entertaining crowds in the street.
While in living Paris in the 1870s, Antonio Mancini met the Impressionist painters Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet and became friends with John Singer Sargent. Antonio Mancini painting, The Poor Schoolboy, exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1876, is now displayed in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
In 1881, Antonio Mancini suffered a disabling mental illness. He settled in Rome in 1883 for twenty years, then moved to Frascati where he lived until 1918. During this period of Mancini's life, he was often destitute and relied on the help of friends and art buyers to survive. He was in a way rescued from his poverty, which was to some extent caused by naivety, by Sargent, who introduced him to English society patrons who paid to have his extraordinary style applied to their portraits. After the First World War, his living situation stabilized and he achieved a new level of serenity in his work.
The first exhibition in the U.S. devoted exclusively to Mancini's work was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2007. The Philadelphia Art Museum has fifteen oil paintings by Antonio Mancini that were a gift to the museum by a New York art dealer.
Art Movement: Academic
Artists Influencing Antonio Mancini: Domenico Morelli, Filippo Palizzi
He Traveled To France
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.