Rainaldi was born in Caramanico Terme, Abruzzo, in 1956. From 1975 to 1978 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice with Emilio Vedova, graduating in the following years with Fabio Mauri at the Academy of Fine Arts in L’Aquila. Rainaldi made his debut with his first personal exhibition in Venice in 1976. His work is centered on the human figure, analyzed through the different languages of drawing, graphics, painting and sculpture.
After starting with covertly narrative compositions, around the 1990s he switched to the representation of isolated figures, fixed through a linear sign in their ideal essentiality, in which bodies and fragments of bodies show subtle and underground connections with archaic and medieval cultures, as in the cycles of works Gisant, 1990, Baptisms of Humans, 1992, Caduti, 1993, Santo, 2000, Conversazioni, 2004, Vergine, 2006, Malebolge, 2007, Copia, 2010, Naiadi, 2012.
Over the years, Rainaldi’s work is linked to historical names and places outside the traditional exhibition spaces, creating works in dialogue with: Bernini, Complesso di Sant’Andrea al Quirinale, Dono del Mattino, Rome, 2000, Vanvitelli, Sala dell’Avvocatura generale dello Stato, Rome, 2012, Bramante, Tempietto, Nada y Todo, Rome, 2014, Caravaggio, Pio Monte della Misericordia Church, The Eight Works of Mercy, Naples 2018.
Among the most important personal exhibitions: Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Bologna, 2003, Palazzo Venezia, Rome, 2006, Gardens of Villa Aldombrandini, 2010, Rome. In 2011 the same exhibition moved to the National Museum of Villa Pisani, Venice and in 2013, on the occasion of the 55th Venice Biennale, a guest of the Venice International University on the island of San Servolo. This series of exhibitions, between 2015 and 2016 continued in Asia at the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, Petronas Gallery in Kuala Lumpur and finally in the Partners & Mucciaccia Gallery, Singapore.
In 2017 in Dubai, the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center) invited him to exhibit with a double solo exhibition of outdoor sculptures that Rainaldi shared with Sir Tony Craig; In 2020 he exhibited at Villa Bertelli, Forte dei Marmi, Versi a selection of drawings, paintings and sculptures that retraced thirty years of his artistic research. At the end of the 1990s Rainaldi deepened his personal interest in the relationship between Art and Liturgy following the two-year study period at the Sant’Anselmo Theological Institute and the three-year studies of Theology for lay people in Rome: he was later entrusted with various ecclesiastical commissions for which he would create the liturgical furnishings of churches in Rome, Terni, Prato and Warsaw. During the Jubilee of 2000, he was awarded by John Paul II the title of Academic of the Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuosi of the Pantheon.
In 2010 he received the European Personality award in the Campidoglio in Rome, in 2015 the Brand Personality Award from the Asia Pacific Brand Foundation and in 2017, in the Italian Senate, the Franco Cuomo International Award.
In 2015, the Maserati group, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company, commissioned him Neptune in the wind, a large backlit marble bas-relief. In 2016 he was appointed academician by the University of Roma Tre.
Over the years he has created works for the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan, the portrait of the Queen of Malaysia, various monumental works for Grimaldi Group, in 2011 the sculpture dedicated to John Paul II in Piazza dei Cinquecento in Rome, in 2020 the work Infinito Campari for the company headquarters in Sesto San Giovanni. In 2021 Flammarion, a permanent installation in Turin for Italgas.
His works are present in the permanent collections of national and international public institutions including: Human Baptisms, seat of the Nobel Prize, Town Hall, Stockholm, 1995; Human Baptisms, UN Building, Geneva, 1998; Virgin, Collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome; Santo, Pontifical Council for Culture, Vatican City, 2012; Fallen, Soumaya Foundation, Mexico City, 2011.