Little is known about Carloforti, although John Ruskin referred to him in 1876 as ‘A youth whom I am maintaining in art study in Venice.’ Like another of the artists of the Ruskin Collection, Angelo Alessandri, Carloforti worked as a copyist and made architectural records for Ruskin in Venice. For example one of Ruskin’s commissions to him asks for ‘Any little bit of architecture or ornamentation by John or Gentile Bellini – or any little bit of the Carpaccio chapel.’
Carloforti’s surviving works seem mostly to concern architecture and sculpture and he must have agreed with Ruskin’s aim of recording Venice’s buildings. On his watercolour records, he signs himself ‘Il suo Discipulo Ubidiente’, or ‘Your obedient disciple.’ He was also a friend of Count Zorzi, a Venetian aristocrat, and was able to introduce Ruskin to him. Together, they successfully protested against the insensitive restoration that was taking place in Venice.
Later on, Carloforti seems to have started teaching art in Leipzig, in Germany, but returned to Italy because of his bad health.