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When he was 14, Detti met Francesco Coghetti, who suggested the young artist studied at the Accademia di San Luca, where Coghetti was a professor. Detti studied at the institution for five years. He was heavily influenced by Mariano Fortuny, who introduced to the artist the Macchiaioli style.
Upon his graduation, Detti went off to travel extensively, and he would spend several years in the city of Naples. Although his initial intention was to settle in Rome, the artist went to Paris instead, where he met one of the most distinguished art dealers at the time, Adolphe Goupil, who promptly accepted to exhibit Detti’s artwork.
The artist eventually decided to establish himself in Paris. He exhibited for the first time in the Paris Salon in 1877. His relation with Paris straightened further due to his marriage with the French Juliette-Emilie Filieuse, with whom he would have three offspring, one son and two daughters. The family moves to a commune just outside Paris.
In 1888, Detti exhibited at the Italian Exhibition in London. He also showed a picture at the Exposition Universelle of 1889, when he was Vice-President of the Italian Committee. He was granted a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle of the following year.
Upon the eclosion of the First Great War, the French government required all foreign people to return to their home countries, and since Detti never took his French citizenship, he was forced to return to Italy. Soon afterward, the artist received a call stating that his son was severely ill back in France, so Detti promptly returned to Paris, where he died in a short time after his arrival.