Born in Naples on 23 February 1835 and died in the same city on 21 September 1920. He was directed to landscape painting by his father Salvatore, a dramatic author and librettist of operas and a painter of local views. From 1853 he attended the landscape school of Gabriele Smargiassi at the Academy of Naples and that of the nude by Giuseppe Mancinelli, later specializing in the naturalistic examples of Giuseppe and Filippo Palizzi. He made his debut in 1855 at the Royal Bourbon Museum exhibition with paintings that demonstrate an interest in a direct view from life, such as the Crusaders cutting a forest (Naples, Museo di San Martino) and the Winter Landscape of 1857 (Naples, Galleria dell 'Academy). With the Unification of Italy he volunteers to join the National Guard and deepens military issues. In 1861, in Florence, he came into contact with the Macchiaioli; of the same year are some topical subjects such as the Earthquake of Torre del Greco (Naples, Museum of San Martino) and, two years later, Leisure and work, exhibited in Naples in 1863 and purchased by Vittorio Emanuele II (Naples, Museum of Capodimonte). Among the best works of this period inspired by social realism are Chiacchiere in piazza in Piscinula (1865) and the Holy Door (1868), both in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, the Ghetto (1868, private collection) and that Encouragement to Vice (1868, private collection) that the artist brought with him to Venice in 1869, causing a great impression on Venetian painters, from Ciardi to Favretto to Zandomeneghi. Some of his masterpieces are from the Venetian period, such as Piazza San Marco (1869, Rome, National Gallery of Modern Art). In 1870 he went to Paris, where he got to know Courbet personally but above all assimilate the bold lesson of Géricault, of which an impression remains in the famous Charge of the Bersaglieri at Porta Pia (1871, Naples, Capodimonte Museum), among the his first great paintings from the Risorgimento, painted on his return to Rome and exhibited and admired in Milan in 1872. Alongside the great historical compositions, such as June 24 at San Martino in 1883, exhibited in Rome that year (Rome, Galleria Nazionale of Modern Art), deals with popular and social issues in open controversy to the official culture of a united Italy. Of this spirit are the woodsmen, painted in Subiaco in 1878 (Naples, collection of the Banco di Napoli, deposited at the Capodimonte Museum), and the emphasized interpretations of the Covo dei briganti (Rome, C. Bruno collection) and the Partita a trump. (1887, Naples, Galleria dell’Accademia di Belle Arti), the first presented in Naples and the second in Venice. The large painting on the Battle of Dogali (Rome, National Gallery of Modern Art) dates back to 1893, the result of a stay of over four years in Massawa, Eritrea (from 1888 to 1893), to study the African landscape and the local customs. In 1900, after thirty-five years, he returned to Naples, where he was appointed to succeed Filippo Palizzi on the chair of "country and animal painting" at the Institute of Fine Arts of that city. He devoted himself to teaching until his death - excluding some trips to Sicily from which he brought back impressions of landscapes - reforming traditional academic teaching with real life practice.