A student at the Brera Academy in Milan from 1916 to 1926, when he returned to his hometown Saronno, De Rocchi was associated with the Novecento Italiano movement in the second half of the 1920s. His participation in the Venice Biennale began by invitation with the 15th Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia in 1926 and continued in numerous later editions. The Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan bought one of his works in 1927 and he took part in the Seconda Mostra del Novecento Italiano in Milan in 1929. The artist’s participation in the Chiarismo movement was accompanied by a lightening of colour and reduction of volume in the 1930s. He obtained a teaching post at the Brera Academy in 1937 and won the Bergamo Prize in 1939. Having moved to Milan in 1940, he continued to paint and exhibit works after World War II, with frequent stays in Venice and Versilia.