Pietro Mengarini was born in Rome in 1869 and trained in the studio of the painter Giulio Rolland, a very active decorative painter in central Italy, author of several cycles for ceilings, such as the one for the Flavio Vespasiano Theater in Rieti. It is very likely that the young Mengarini helped the master in the decoration of some buildings, such as the great hall of the University of Macerata.
The painter’s public debut took place in 1892 at the Exhibition of Amateurs and Fine Arts Connoisseurs in Rome, where he presented a nude studio. The following year, at the National Exhibition in Rome, he instead presented a Study from life characterized by the use of the pointillist technique.
Soon he also specialized in the use of colored etching, giving life to open views and landscapes, with clear and clean colors, characterized by a diffused brightness. In 1905 he participated in the Venice Biennale with Half figure and Nude and in the same year he held a conference at the International Artistic Circle entitled Sources of poetry of modern painting, which presented him as one of the most committed exponents of Roman divisionism.
The following year he participated in the National Exhibition in Milan presenting Nel Vaporacqua, Il Vaso Turchino and La Solitaria, and in 1909 in the one in Rimini with A piece of canal in Venice, A bridge in Venice, A pleasant reading, a difficult contract and The chicory in Rome. This last painting in particular, imbued with a very clear light that illuminates the women who sell chicory in Piazza dell’Unità in Rome, is a tranche de vie collected with a quick and very modern look.
Quiet Cantuccio and La vela nuova appear at the 1910 Biennale, After fishing and Anzio at the 1911 International Exhibition in Rome. the Charcoal Chargers painting, another impression taken from everyday working life.
At the second secessionist exhibition of 1914 he exhibited Autumn Afternoon and The Other Shore, a very clear view of Ponte Cavour as if pervaded by a light mist coming from the river. In the same year, together with Sartorio, Noci and D’Achiardi he took part in the Marine Show at the International Artistic Association.
At the Secession of 1915, the placid Fishing with cane appears, characterized by a luministic imprint all made through divided filaments of color. Presented together with Il molo, it decrees the success of the artist who also exhibited at the last secessionist exhibition of 1916 Blue eyes and Between two lights. In 1921 he took part in the 1st Roman Biennale, re-proposing Le cicoriare in Rome together with the painting Open air.
The following year he married the painter Ida Magliocchetti to whom he had been linked for many years. He died in 1924 at the age of 55, but his paintings continued to appear in Roman exhibitions at least until 1926: Ponte Cavour, Barche, Mercato and The port of Anzio were exhibited at the III Biennale in Rome.