Painter Niccolò Cassana, often called Nicoletto, was born in Venice in 1659 into a family of painters. He trained with his father and was active during the late-Baroque. The family originated from Genoa. His father had accompanied Bernardo Strozzi from Genoa to Venice around 1632/3, but his expressive style and pictorial technique remained in the Genoese tradition. Niccolò’s work continued in the family tradition.
He started to concentrate on portraiture around 1683, trying to attract the attention of the Medici family. Their official painter Giusto Sustermans had died two years previously. Ferdinand de’ Medici invited the painter to his Florentine court. Having produced a number of official portraits (and other works - including some portraits of the English nobility), Nicoletto was invited to move to England around 1710 and introduced to Queen Anne who sat for him at Kensington Palace. He died in London in 1713, possibly because of alcoholism.