Initially trained with his father, the painter Giuseppe Rapisardi, he then had a classic education locally in Catania, and then obtained a stipend from the city to study in the studio of Cavalliere Giovanni Costa in Rome. He won a number of prizes at the Accademia di San Luca.
After four years he traveled to Florence, Venice, then Paris. He was eclectic and prolific, among his works: An Episode of the 1301 Siege of Messina; The main Italian Poets at the Court of Frederico II in SiciIy; Vatti a far monaca!; Hamlet scene; La prima sventura di Luigi Camoens; Le castellane e il menestrello; Il trovatore cacciato in bando; Dante and Beatrice; The escape of Bianca Cappello; Le maggiolate; Ophelia Crazed; I Vespri Siciliani. He painted for a number of churches in his Catania, with paintings such as San Benedetto; L'Immacolata; La cena in Emaus; Il sacrifìcio di Gedeone; San Vito; Le Vergini di Sion; San Luigi Gonzaga; L'Addolorata; Sant'Agata in jail. Rapisardi was criticized for the anachronism of his costumes. He painted his self-portrait.
- Dizionario degli Artisti Italiani Viventi: pittori, scultori, e Architetti, by Angelo de Gubernatis. Tipe dei Successori Le Monnier, 1889, Page 405.
- Enciclopedia Treccani short biography.
- Self portrait.
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