Duilio Cambellotti was born in Rome in 1876, he initially graduated in accountancy while studying art independently.
Between 1893 and 1897 he enrolled in some courses at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, but without ever attaining his diploma. Upon leaving the academy he won his first contest, for the construction of the support poles of the Roman tramways.
Initially his artistic career followed the path of designer, creating lamps, mirrors, boxes and furniture.
A key step in his career was when he met with Alessandro Marcucci, an official at the Ministry of Education, who brought him into theatre as a set designer.
Also in Rome he collaborated with the INDA (Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico) for whom he created the set for their production of ‘Agamemnon of Aeschylus’, which represented the inauguration of the institute in 1914.
In 1901 he won ‘il Concorso Alinari’ for his illustration of the Divine Comedy, and subsequently began working with several magazines, such as ‘la Lettura’, ‘Rapiditas’, ‘La Casa’, ‘Fantasio’ and ‘l’Avanti della Domenica’, as well as illustrating literary texts.
Cambellotti was also very sensitive to socio-political issues, and together with Balla, Cena and Marcucci was dedicated to the redevelopment of the Pontine Marshes, building in 1905 the first ‘Scuola per Contadini’.