In 1930 Annigoni exhibited his work for the first time in Florence as one of a group of painters. He had his first individual exhibition two years later at the Bellini Gallery in the Palazzo Ferroni.
In 1932 Ugo Ojetti wrote a memorable piece about him for the arts page of the Corriere della Sera. Also in 1932 he won the Trentacoste prize. It was in this period that he learned the technique of 'oil tempera' under the Russian painter, Nikolai Lokoff.
Annigoni had a great success with his Milan exhibition in 1936. After that he conceived the desire to travel and visited a number of foreign countries, including Germany, where he discovered his love of German painting.
In 1937 Pietro Annigoni married Anna Giuseppa Maggini. The marriage produced two children - Benedetto, born in 1939, and Maria Ricciarda, in 1948.
The series of gouaches that Annigoni produced on his travels, or simply on his country walks, revealed a rare talent for capturing the intrinsic character of landscape, which he rendered with a sharp and evocative sense of line. Between 1945 to 1950 he produced a succession of important and very successful works.In 1947 along with Gregory Sciltian, the brothers Antonio and Xavier Bueno, and others, he signed the manifesto of the 'Modern Realist Painters'. In this manifesto the group, which consisted of seven painters, came out in open opposition to abstract art and the various movements that had sprung up in Italy in these years.
The event constitutes an insignificant detail in Annigoni's life but, curiously, it would become one of the key points of reference in the literature about him. March 1949 saw Annigoni's first experience of England, when the Committee of the Royal Academy accepted the works he offered for its annual exhibition. This was the beginning of a success which was to acquire worldwide dimensions.
Annigoni had many exhibitions in London - at Wildenstein's in 1950 and 1954, at Agnew's in 1952 and 1956, at the Federation of British Artists in 1961, at the Upper Grosvenor Galleries in 1966, not to mention the inclusion of his work in many of the Royal Academy exhibitions.