Pompeo Mariani (1857 – 1927) is considered among one of the most significant Italian painters of the 19th century. He belonged to that renowned group of bourgeois artists, passionate and elegant, working at the turn of the 20th century in the dazzling setting of Belle époque and elevating their art to the level of a “profession of faith”. Following the wishes of his father, he begins with a career in finance, at the offices of what in the future will become the Commercial Credit Bank of Italy. Soon, however, he manages to free himself from the constraints of this exacting profession and takes up an artistic apprenticeship at the studio of Eleuterio Pagliano, from then onwards dedicating himself, body and soul, exclusively to painting. His work, which already in his lifetime was named among the most important products of the late 19th century artistic research, is now exhibited in major national museums and private collections. However, it’s worth mentioning that, throughout the last century, his work has seen alternating rises and falls of notoriety, especially after his death in mysterious circumstances on 25 January 1927, on which we can finally shed some light today.