Coming from modest origins, Panerai studied at the Academy in Florence and from 1880 studied in Giovanni Fattori’s studio. In 1885 he painted two large canvases “Il ritorno dalle corse delle cascine” (Return from the Races) and “Il passeggio dei cavalleggeri da piazza san Gallo” (The light horse crossing of San Gallo Square), whose urban themes and liveliness recall paintings by Giuseppe De Nittis.

His early works were much praised and well-received. In 1887 he exhibited “Il guado” (The Ford) at Venice; the same year in Milan he won the Fumagalli Prize with “Il cavallo malato” (The Sick Horse). His youthful works with their military and equestrian subjects or landscapes of the Maremma, show Fattori’s influence “although simplified by comparison with the complex, experimental syntax of the Leghorn master” (Spalletti 1990).

The work called “Mazzeppa”, exhibited in Bologna in 1888 earned him the post of lecturer at the local academy of art. At the 1890 “Promotrice fiorentina” he exhibited “Una stalla di mucche” (The Cow Shed), and in 1892 “Una sera” (One Evening).

From 1886 he concentrated on genre painting, based on scenes from modern Florentine life or in 18th century costume.

Written by: Gioela Massagli – Translated by: Catherine Biggerstaff

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