Relatively little is known about the life of Guariento di Arpo. Documents first record that he taught painting in Padua, Italy, in 1338. In 1366 he painted a huge fresco of Paradise in the Ducal Palace, the most prominent building in Venice, for the doge, the ruler of Venice. He painted many altarpieces and fresco cycles for churches and small devotional paintings for private worship, but only one signed work has survived.
While other painters used static, idealized figures, Guariento's innovative style combined lifelike figures with a dramatic approach to narrative. He never formed a significant workshop of assistants, but his individualized figures and his ability to convey strong human emotion in his paintings served as a source of inspiration for future generations of artists in Padua.