Palma, born in the Venetian family of artists, was the nephew of the painter Palma il Vecchio and the son of Antonio Negretti, a minor painter pupil of Bonifazio de’ Pitati who inherited his shop.
In 1567 the Duke of Urbino recognized Palma’s talents sending him to Rome, where he remained until 1573 ca. He returned to Venice by the mid -1570 ca. The first major commission arrived after 1577 in the Doge’s Palace: three scenes in its grand council hall.
After Tintoretto’s death in 1594, Palma became Venice’s leader artist.