Cagliari, Or Caliari, Paolo, commonly known as Paul Veronese, an Italian painter of the Venetian school, born in Verona about 1530, died in Venice in 1588. .His father, Gabriele Cagliari, a sculptor, instructed him in drawing and modelling; but he afterward entered the studio of his uncle, Antonio Badile, a Veronese painter of some eminence. After executing some designs in fresco on the dome of the cathedral at Mantua, for the cardinal Gonzaga, he went to Venice, where he passed the remainder of his life. The work which first brought him into notice was the story of Esther painted on the ceilings of the church of St. Sebastian, under which he lies buried, and which contains a great number of his works. A journey to Rome in the suite of the Venetian ambassador, Grimani, enabled him to study the works of Raphael and the elder masters. His history after his return to Venice is a.record of continued and brilliant success. He distributed his paintings among the churches and convents, and would seldom take from them more than the price of his canvas and colors; for his great picture of the marriage in Cana, painted for the refectory of the convent of San Giorgio Maggiore, he received, it is said, only 90 ducats.
He was distinguished for the freedom and boldness of his designs, the brilliant coloring of his costumes and accessories, and his wonderful facility. No painter ever more frequently violated the proprieties of chronology, or more openly disregarded fact and probability. In his picture of the family of Darius brought before Alexander, now in the British national gallery, the men are Venetian soldiers, senators, and citizens, the women are Venetian ladies, the architecture is of the ornate 16th century style, and the costume of the same period. In the "Rape of Europa," now at Vienna, Europa is a noble Venetian dame, sumptuously attired, and her attendants are modern maids of honor. The celebrated picture of the marriage in Cana, 30 feet by 20, now in the Louvre, is one of the best specimens of his representations of festive meetings, on which his reputation principally rests. There are three other festival pictures on a similar scale: Christ entertained by Levi, now in the academy of Venice; the supper in the house of Simon the Pharisee, with Mary Magdalene washing the feet of Christ, now in the Durazzo palace at Genoa; and the supper at Emmaus. Of his more purely religious subjects, the three pictures representing the death of St. Sebastian, in the church of that name in Venice, are among the finest for color and composition he ever painted.
His Scriptural, mythological, and allegorical pictures are almost innumerable, and many excellent specimens are to be found at Venice, Milan, and in the Louvre. Of his allegorical subjects, his "Venice crowned by Fame," on the ceiling of the Maggior' Consiglio hall, is an admirable specimen.