Giulio Romano (1492 – 1546) was born in Rome, Italy. He was an architect and a late Renaissance painter - one of the initiators of the Mannerist style and the primary heir of Raphael. As a child Romano was apprenticed to Raphael. He had become so important in the workshop that in 1520 by Raphael’s death, he was named as one of the master’s chief heirs together with G. Penni. Romano also became the principal artistic executor. He completed a number of his master’s unfinished works. In his original work from these years, such as the Stoning of St. Stephen and the Madonna and Saints, the artist developed a highly personal, anticlassical style of painting. In 1524, he left for Mantua, where he stayed until his death, completely dominating the artistic affairs of that territory.
In Mantua itself he did a great deal of work in the huge Palace of the Gonzaga (Reggia dei Gonzaga). However, the Palazzo del Te, on the outskirts of Mantua, is the most important of all his works. It begun in 1525/1526 and was built and decorated entirely by him and his pupils. Another particularly noteworthy work is the decorations of the Sala di Troia. This is because they look forward to the ceiling decorations of the Baroque which is illusionistic; this style was probably inspired by the presence of the Camera degli Sposi in Mantua by Andrea Mantegna. From 1544 to 1546, Romano built a Mannerist version of the House of Raphael for himself, and he began the rebuilding of the cathedral from 1545.