Panini trained as a painter of architecture and stage scenery in his native Piacenza in northern Italy. After he moved to Rome in 1711 he frequented the drawing academy of the successful figure painter Benedetto Luti. He began his career as a painter of decorative frescoes in Roman palaces and villas and went on to become the leading view painter in Rome in the eighteenth century. His work included topographical views of the city and its monuments, both ancient and modern; grand perspectival interiors; imaginary views (capricci), typically including Roman ruins; and cityscapes featuring contemporary events and ceremonies. His views are populated by lively, bustling and often highly individualised figures. Panini’s close association with the French in Rome, including patrons such as Cardinal Melchior de Polignac and the Duc de Choiseul, greatly advanced his career, and he strongly influenced many of the leading French artists in Rome. In later years he was much patronised by British Grand Tourists, and his international reputation equalled that of Canaletto in Venice and Piranesi in Rome.