The son of a painter, Molinari was apprenticed to Antonio Zanchi in Venice. He was strongly influenced by the vigorous and athletic paintings of Neapolitan painters such as Luca Giordano. He typically painted tumultuous narratives of mythology and religion in large canvases. This would influence his pupil (1697–1703), Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, and his grand manner style.
His works include:
- Feeding of the Five Thousand (1690; San Pantalon, Venice)
- Darius and His Family Before Alexander (1690)
- Judith with the Head of Holofernes (1690)
- Death of Uzzah (c. 1695; Santa Maria degli Angeli in Murano)
- Fight of Centaurs and Lapiths (c. 1698, Ca' Rezzonico).
- The Boy Moses Stepping on Pharaoh's Crown (c. 1690s-1704), Museum Kunstpalast
- Adoration of the Golden Calf (1700-1702), The Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
- Adam and Eve (1701-1704), David Owsley Museum of Art
- David and Abigail
Madonna and Child with Saint Maurus Madonna dell'Orto
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