He was born in Naples, Italy, on January 25th of 1811. His parents were Raffaello Cicarelli and Appolonia Mencori. He studied Art in the Instituto Real de Bellas Artes de Nápoles (Royal Institute of Fine Arts of Naples) and later in Rome.
In 1843, Cicarelli met the emperor Pedro II of Brazil, who hired him as a arts teacher for the empress María Teresa de Borbon and promoter of the arts of such country. In this way he became, at age 33, in the main artist of Brazil and was in charge of reforming the Academia de Río de Janeiro (Academy of Rio de Janeiro).
In 1849, he accepted the preposition from the Chilena consul in brazil, Carlos Hochkolf, to travel to our country to found and direct the Academia de Pintura y Escultura de Santiago (Painting and Sculpting Academy of Santiago). The teachings in this place were attached to the European academic traditions and the Greco-Roman canons.
As a painter, he was mainly a portrait artist, although he liked religious themes.
Among his vast body of work, a series of historical figures stands out, which was begun as an order from the government of Manuel Bulnes, as well as his paintings Philoctetes abandoned and Telemachus listening to the singing of Termosivi, work for which he received second prize in an exhibition in Rome. After abandoning the direction of the Academy in 1869 – he was replaced by German Ernesto Kirchcah – he devoted himself to philanthropic work. He passed away in Santiago on May 5th, 1879.