Giuseppe Porta was born in the province of Lucca in Tuscany, but when he moved to Rome to study, Giuseppe adopted the name of his master, Francesco Salviati. They travelled to Venice together in 1539, and when Salviati left two years later, Giuseppe chose to remain in the city and eventually became one of the leading mannerist painters there. He absorbed the local Venetian artistic traditions, which were reflected in his technique of using many thin layers of paint to build up his figures. Giuseppe was principally a painter of large-scale works such as altarpieces for Venetian churches, vast ceiling paintings and façade decorations. On the death of his master Salviati in 1565, Giuseppe returned to Rome to complete the frescoes in the Vatican that Salviati had left unfinished.