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Mancini was born in Rome and showed precocious ability as an artist. At the age of twelve, he was admitted to the Institute of Fine Arts in Naples, where he studied under Domenico Morelli (1823–1901), a painter of historical scenes who favored dramatic chiaroscuro and vigorous brushwork, and Filippo Palizzi (1818–1899), a landscape painter. Mancini developed quickly under their guidance, and in 1872, he exhibited two paintings at the Paris Salon.


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