Andrea Meldolla was a native of the Venetian colonial city of Zara (now Zadar) in Dalmatia (modern Croatia), but he moved to Venice itself in the second half of the 1530s. Because of his national roots Andrea was nicknamed Schiavone, which in Italian means ‘Slavonian’. He was a proficient draughtsman and etcher as well as a painter, and was heavily influenced by the work of Parmigianino and some of the central Italian Mannerist painters. Many of Schiavone’s paintings are small-scale mythological pictures, although he was capable of painting large altarpieces and decorative schemes. His work is characterised by a vigorous, painterly use of the brush or pen.