A native of Naples, Vincenzo Irolli manifested a precocious talent for painting as a young man and quickly became a rising young star in the artistic community. At the Istituto di Belle Arti di Napoli he studied under Giocchino Toma and Federico Maldarelli. He aligned himself with Michetti's painterly style and drew his aggressive color palatte from Morelli and Mancini. In 1879 the young Irolli presented various works in his hometown of Naples. His paintings showed the influence of Mancini and Michetti but revealed his ability, particularly through his use of color, to capture the pulse of a vibrant city always in movement and its colorful local people.
Even though Irolli displayed a verve for genre painting, throughout his long career the artist broadened his repertory to include portrait painting, landscapes, and religious subject matter. Besides his participation in the local art show circuit in Naples, his roster of exhibitions was extensive within Italy: Rome, 1883; Turin, 1884; Venice, 1887; and Milan 1906-1910. Irolli also actively exhibited in London from 1888-1904 as well as Paris where he was invited to submit paintings to the Salon. Interestingly, he met with the most generous praise in France, more so than in Italy where he met with critics who lamented some of his choice of subjects and his strong use of color. The city of Paris bought Spannocchiatori directly from Irolli. Nevertheless, he remained popular with the private collectors who were drawn to his sensitive portrayal of certain facets of Neopolitan life - the lovely still life paintings, the women and children, the scenes of the life in the Café and of course the lively and bustling Venetian and Neopolitan market scenes. Irolli left an important local and international legacy and remained active in the Neopolitan community until his death at the age of eighty-nine.