Previati moved from Ferrara to Milan in 1876 and enrolled at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, winning the Canonica competition in 1879. Having settled in Milan definitively in 1881, he came into contact with the Scapigliatura movement. He took part in the 1st Brera Triennale in 1891 with a work clearly showing his adoption of Divisionism, of which he was also a theoretician, and Symbolist themes. He took part in the Venice Biennale by invitation from 1895 to 1914, including solo shows of his work in 1901 and 1912. He was involved in the creation of the “Dream Room” at the 7th Biennale in 1907 and exhibited at the Salon des Peintres Divisionnistes Italiens organised in Paris by the art dealer Alberto Grubicy. It was Alberto and his brother Vittore who founded the Società per l’Arte di Gaetano Previati in 1911, purchasing a large number of his paintings and showing them in exhibitions in Genoa (1915) and Milan (1916 and 1919). Grief-stricken over the death of members of his family, he died in 1920 at the town of Lavagna in Liguria, where he was in the habit of staying for long periods.