Domenico Zampieri, known as Domenichino for his shortness , was an Italian Baroque painter of the Bolognese or Carracci School of painters.
Domenichino was born in Bologna, son of a shoemaker, and there initially studied under Denis Calvaert. After quarreling with Calvaert, he left to work in the Accademia degli Incamminati of the Carracci where, because of his small stature, he was nicknamed Domenichino, meaning "little Domenico" in Italian. He left Bologna for Rome in 1602 and became one of the most talented apprentices to emerge from Annibale Carracci's supervision. As a young artist in Rome he lived with his slightly older Bolognese colleagues Albani and Guido Reni, and worked alongside Lanfranco, who later would become a chief rival.
In addition to assisting Annibale with completion of his frescoes in the Galleria Farnese, including A Virgin with a Unicorn (c. 1604–05), he painted three of his own frescoes in the Loggia del Giardino of the Palazzo Farnese.
Domenichino's work, developed principally from Raphael's and the Carracci's examples, mirrors the theoretical ideas of his friend Giovanni Battista Agucchi, with whom the painter collaborated on a Treatise on Painting.
It represents what would become known as classic-idealist art, which aims to surpass the imperfections of nature by developing an "Idea of Beauty" (idea del bello) through the study and imitation of the best examples of ancient and Renaissance art.