Raffaello Sorbi

Raffaello Sorbi. Italian painter (Florence 1844–1931)

Sorbi was an academician of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, a resident professor, and an honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino.


He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, taking drawing classes led by the talented artist Prof. Antonio Ciseri.

Corso Donati

At the age of 18, he debuted with Corso Donati ferito a morte viene trasportato da’ Monaci di San Salvi in quella Badia [Corso Donati, Wounded to Death, Transported by Monks of San Salvi to that Abbey]

In the triennial competition of 1861, he was awarded for this piece, which still hangs at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence

Caffè Michelangiolo

In Florence, he occasionally frequented Caffè Michelangiolo, a gathering place for Macchiaioli painters. He met the artists who influenced some of his works painted en plein air. He was an academician of the Institute of Fine Arts, professor, president, and honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino and that in Florence.

International market

Sorbi also met with much success on the international market, especially in Britain. A highly skilled painter, his work alternated historical subjects, including large paintings, with small works (some very small) of genre scenes, which the market greatly appreciated. 


His historical paintings are truly remarkable in their attention to detail. He earned many obtained numerous commissions from foreign merchants, including the famous French merchant Adolphe Goupil in Paris. Unfortunately, in 1872, Goupil had Sorbi sign a contract giving him almost exclusive rights to his work for a full seven years!

From our store

The pair of paintings in our product catalogue are from a key realm of Sorbi’s work, embodying both his special qualities and his great skill in painting, often reaching virtuosity. (link) He worked on commissions from foreign patrons and several of his paintings are now in America and England.


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