Architect, Giovan Battista Magnani was born in Parma in 1571 and here died in 1653
He started to work at the beginning of 17th century, strongly influenced by Aleotti, the greatest theatre designer of his time, and by painters from Bologna working in the Duchy of Parma: Colonna, Dentone and Spada.
In 1602 he designed the funerary monument of his good friend Agostino Carracci located in the Cathedral; the altar of St. Joseph in the Basilica of Steccata dates to 1608, while in 1610 he worked at the church Santa Maria del Quartiere.
In 1613 he designs the cloister for the Convent of St. Paul and in 1614 the belltower of St John.
He certainly took part in the works for the Farnese theatre as well as the construction of the Pilotta Palace, until abbess Maura Lucenia asked him in 1622 to restore the church of Sant’Alessandro.
Between 1627 and 1628 Magnani worked at the plan of the
Town hall palace, rebuilded in occasion of the wedding of the duchy Odoardo Farnese with Margherita di Toscana; he designed the arches for the entrance of the married couple.
In 1637 he designed the vault of the refectory of the convent of the Church of Santissima Annunziata.