Born into a poor family, Pinazo was forced from a young age to assist in supporting the family by practising various trades. He had only attended eight grades when his mother died of the cholera, and young Ignazio was variously employed as a silversmith, a painter of tiles, and a decorator of fans. After his father’s death, he lived with his grandparents, and in 1864 enrolled in the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts, Valencia, earning his living as a hatter.
His artistic career started when he was 21, and he achieved his first success in Barcelona three years later. In 1871, work by him was displayed in the National Exhibition of Fine Arts for the first time.
He visited Rome twice, the first time (1873) thanks to the sale of a painting. From 1876 to 1881 he lived in that city on a grant.
When he returned to his native city in 1874, he abandoned the conventional historic themes he had so far devoted his efforts to, and instead started painting family subjects, nude figures, and scenes from daily life, thereby anticipating Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida and Francisco Domingo both in subject and style. This is the beginning of a more intimate, Impressionist style.
In 1884, due to a cholera epidemic in Valencia, Pinazo temporarily moved to the town of Bétera, where he stayed in the villa “Maria” of the banker Jose Jaumandreu. From 1884 to 1886 he taught at the School of Valencia. He received many commissions from the Valencian aristocracy, among them the Marchioness of Benicarló.
The annual art exhibitions brought Pinazo silver medals in 1881 and 1885, and gold medals in 1887 and 1899. He also received a royal medal and in 1912 a street in Valencia was named after him.