Francesco Mancini enrolled at the Naples Royal Institute of Fine Arts in 1844, where he studied drawing and attended Gabriele Smargiassi’s course on landscape as from 1846. He then abandoned the academic approach at the end of the following decade and devoted himself to painting from life during numerous trips to the regions of southern Italy. He also tried his hand at history painting and presented scenes from the struggle for national liberation in Florence at the Esposizione Nazionale di Firenze of 1861. A leading figure in Neapolitan cultural life, he became a member of the Società Promotrice di Belle Arti there in 1862 and was a regular participant in its exhibitions. He took up a teaching post at the local academy in 1877 and was one of the founders of the Circolo Artistico Napoletano in 1888. His participation in the major national exhibitions held by Italian cities included Turin (1880 and 1884) and Milan (1881). Landscapes inspired by the countryside and customs of the Abruzzi, Puglia and Calabria regions were accompanied in this period by more fashionable scenes of city life painted during frequent stays in Paris and London, which found great favour with the collectors of the time.