His Early Life
Paolo was born in Verona hence his nickname 'Veronese'. His father was a stonecutter and his mother was the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman called Caliari, a name the artist adopted in the 1550s. Veronese moved to Venice in the early 1550s and stayed there for the rest of his life, becoming one of the leading painters of the 16th century.
He was trained in Verona by Antonio Badile whose daughter he married in 1566. Seemingly enough he served in the studio of Giovanni Battista Caroto. The roots of his style may be located in the antique architecture and sculpture of Verona, but are ultimately his own synthesis of Central and Northern Italian influences.
A rival of Giovanni was Tintoretto, described in previous pages, was also significant touchstones at various points of Veronese's career, but his outlook is ultimately classical and harmonious in a way we tend not to associate with their work, and what has come more broadly to be understood as Mannerism.
In 1553 Veronese was introduced to Venice and launched on a long collaboration with the Venetian authorities in connection with the decoration of different parts of the Palazzo Ducale.
The first of these commissions, the partitioned ceiling of the Sala del Consiglio dei Dieci (Hall of the Council of Ten), reveals characteristics of Veronese’s mature style: skillful figures appear to be actually floating in space above the viewer, chromatic and luminous passages that endow even the shadows with colour.