Painter Anthony Toto was born in 1499 in Florence, the son of Toto del Nunziata who was a producer of fireworks. He was trained by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. In 1519 he was engaged by the sculptor Pietro Torrigiano to come to England and work on a projected tomb for Henry VIII. Although this tomb was never executed, Toto entered the Royal service as a painter. He became the most prominent of a number of versatile Italian artists employed by the English court at the time.
Toto worked extensively on Nonsuch Palace in Surrey. In 1530 he painted nine religious pictures for the library and the King’s closet of Hampton Court Palace and seven years later he executed a heraldic painting for the funeral of Jane Seymour. By then he was living in the parish of St Bride, Fleet Street. In 1544 he was appointed to the lucrative court position of Serjeant Painter. In 1547 Toto worked on the decorations for the funeral of Henry VIII as well as those for the coronation of Edward VI. Toto died in London in November 1554.