Federico Andreotti acquired his first rudiments of painting from Angiolo Tricca, before enrolling at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence in 1861. Here he studied under Enrico Pollastrini and Stefano Ussi, initially taking history painting as his subject.
It was Ussi who inspired him to paint the history painting commissioned by the King, Savonarola chasing the assassins sent by Bentivoglio out of his cell. The work, inspired by Villani’s stories, received a series of appreciations, but also the fundamental negative criticism of Telemaco Signorini, who accused him of having executed the scene through a complex rendering that had nothing realistic about it.
Genre painting: neo-18th-century and neo-Pompeian reconstruction
Perhaps for this reason, after an initial experience in history painting, Federico Andreotti decided to turn to genre painting. He specialised in seventeenth and eighteenth century settings and reconstructions, but also of the classical world, without ever abandoning the thread of chromatic research, naturally inherited from Macchiaioli painting.
His favourite subjects – from historical scenes to settings of ancient Greece – are treated with an impeccable neo-Flemish rendering that is well received by the European and American markets. To this vein belong Page with dog, Reading, Fairy in the wood, Idyll, Costumes, Page, Venetian woman, Passing fumes, Flower girl, Countryside near Florence, At the exhibition, A music lesson, Return from the field, Gallant scene, The red parasol, Landscape at Vallombrosa, Young lady, Tuscan countryside, Ciociara, Reconciliation.
Between the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, his success was such that he exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art in London and gained international popularity. His pleasant images of the past, full of captivating atmospheres, are accompanied by a precise technique: small touches characterised by a bright palette full of light tones.
This appealed above all to European and American dealers, who commissioned him to paint a wide range of works, not only genre paintings and anecdotal sketches, but also portraits. This is perhaps why his participation in Italian exhibitions is rarer. Many of his works are held in private Italian collections, including Ciociara, Young Figure and The visit to the castle.