(Verona 1524 – 1606)
Venetian painter and engraver, probably also a sculptor and architect. Son of Lucia Bonato and of the painter Giovanni Battista di Cristoforo, who was probably Paolo’s first teacher. According to Vasari, he completed his apprenticeship with the painter Nicola Giolfino, the main exponent of a family of artists of Piacenza origin who moved to Verona at the beginning of the fifteenth century. He had a quiet life and was completely dedicated to the management of his art laboratory to which his sons Orazio and Giambattista also collaborated. The formation and the first maturity of the painter still present dark sides and susceptible to further investigation. Being born in Verona just four years before than Paolo Caliari (the Veronese), Farinati was in the condition of being able to immediately receive all the novelties inherent the work of his brillant fellow-citizen. The activity of the shop allowed him to reach a good level of comfort.
In the last years of his life he tried to ennoble his origins, appropriating the coat of arms and the name of a noble Florentine family, Farinata degli Uberti, of which there was a fourteenth-century plaque in the cloister of S. Zeno in Verona. His first documented work is the altarpiece of San Martino, painted in 1552 for the Duomo of Mantua. Then followed a very intense activity for churches and convents, and in the decoration of villas and palaces. There are over 500 of his drawings scattered in the main museums of the world, of which the largest group is kept in the Louvre. The emblem of his workshop was the snail, which is often present in his prints and those of his son Orazio.
Died in 1606 he is buried in the church of San Paolo in Campo Marzio in Verona.