While still very young, Pio Joris attended the Istituto di Belle Arti in Rome and in 1861 he enrolled at the Accademia di San Luca, where he remained for just a year. On a visit to the 1st Esposizione Nazionale di Belle Arti di Firenze in 1861 he was attracted by the naturalistic works from the Naples school. He came into contact with Domenico Morelli and Filippo Palizzi during a trip to Capri, Sorrento and Naples in 1866. In Rome, he kept company with Mariano Fortuny, whose painting, with its pleasant, captivating luministic effects, made a very strong impression on Joris. That was how he developed his own very personal artistic language, which went on to bring him remarkable commercial success on an international scale, helped by his collaboration with Paris art dealer Alphonse Goupil. During the 1870s, Joris travelled around Europe: his presence is documented in London, Paris and Spain. He reached the peak of his success between the 1880s and 1890s, winning numerous public awards with an anecdotal style of history painting and with pleasant genre scenes, shown at the main exhibitions in Italy and abroad. He was awarded the gold medal and the Légion d’Honneur at the Paris Salon in 1900 for two works on a religious theme, reminiscent of studies by his contemporary, Francesco Paolo Michetti.