A pupil of Cosimo Daddi in Volterra and then of Matteo Rosselli in Florence, Volterrano executed his first frescoes in Volterra, followed by the work for the Medici family in the Villa della Petraia (1636-1638). In 1652, the Marchese Filippo Niccolini dispatched him to various parts of Italy to improve his art. The painter took a serious interest in the schools of Parma and Bologna, and in the Roman-Tuscan style of Pietro da Cortona. After this trip he undertook the commission from Niccolini to paint frescoes on the cupola and back-wall of the Niccolini chapel in Santa Croce, Florence. These are his best works and the most well-known.