Raffaello Sorbi

(1844 - 1931)

Raffaello Sorbi in his youth studied at the Academy in Florence under the Professor, Antonio Ciseri (1821-1891), a painter of portraits and historical subjects. Ciseri’s influence was profound.

Sorbi’s first exhibited work, at the precocious age of seventeen was a historical scene and it was in the historical genre that he was to become so renowned. His historical subject matter however was broad, he was one of several artists including Ettore Forti and Luigi Bazzani (1836-1927), who painted classical subjects inspired by Pompeii, the ruins of which were a significant attraction for those on the Grand Tour.

Sorbi exhibited many works of this specific genre including “The Road to Pompeii under Rain”, “The Terracotta Vendor”, “The Liquor Seller” and “A Roman Idyll”. In later years Sorbi turned away from this genre turning more to scenes of everyday life, frequently set in the eighteenth century, subjects like “A Game of Morra”, or “The Serenade”. Sorbi was enormously popular throughout Europe and the United States, as can be gauged by the fact that he was represented by the leading Paris dealer Goupil. His highly detailed style, quality of light and subject matter being of universal appeal. He exhibited works in Florence, Parma and Paris.

His works can be found in museums in: Florence and Prague.