Filippini attended the school of drawing at the Pinacoteca Tosio. From 1872 he received a grant from the city council to continue these studies.
He was much influenced by Tranquillo Cremona. He was soon sent to work, first as a waiter in a pastry-shop, later as a clerk to a notary public. In 1875 he received an allowance to study under Giuseppe Bertini in Milan.:79 In 1879 another grant allowed him to travel to Paris to visit the Salon.
Filippini exhibited at the annual shows of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan from 1879, and from 1880 lived in that city.
He made his living by teaching, both in schools and privately. He died in Milan on 6 March 1895.
He was made an honorary member of the Accademia di Brera in 1878.