Born in Genoa into well-to-do family, he first studied classic literature, but moved into an apprenticeship with the painter Bernardo Strozzi, then Giovanni Andrea Ansaldo. He worked for some years in Florence, where he copied many of the works of Andrea del Sarto. Returning to Genoa (about 1625), he painted mainly for private customers. He worked also in Corsica (at that time part of the Republic of Genoa), where he painted locally influential paintings for some churches around Bastia. He died on 1657 from the plague that swept through Genoa. He fathered four sons; among them Giovanni Raffaele (1648–1717), who was also his pupil, became a notable painter.
- "St. Peter martyr talking to the crucifixus", preserved in the Museum of "Accademia Tadini" at Lovere.
- “Interception of Virgin and St. Joseph to Trinity for the souls of Purgatory”, in the church of San Pierre at Luri, Corsica. More of his paintings are found in other churches near Bastia
- “St. Filippo Neri adoring the Crucifix”, in the church of Saints Nicholas and Erasmus (Genova-Voltri).
- “St. Erasmus, St. Chiara e St. Nicholas”, in the church of Santa Maria Assunta (Camogli)
- “The Virgin gives the scapular to St. Simon Stock, with the saints John the Baptist and Joseph”, in the church of Saints Peter and Paul Ceriana.
- “Death of Saint Joseph”, in the church of Sant’Antimo at Piombino (Tuscany).
- “St. Francesco da Paola” in the Oratory of San Rocco at Tortona (uncertain attribution).
- Pictures of Giuseppe Badaracco are also in the church of St. Anthony the abbott at Diano Marina, where is preserved a collection of paintings of Ligurian painters of 17th century.
- Altarpiece depicting Madonna and Child with the saints Peter, Erasmus and Anthony the abbot in the church of San Matteo at Borghetto Santo Spirito 
- Painting depicting the Miracle of the mule (a legendary episode of the life of St. Anthony of Padua, in the Oratory of S. Giuseppe, in the same town.
The last two paintings are interesting also from the historical point of view, as they show on the background two different views of Borghetto Santo Spirito in the 17th century.
- Farquhar, Maria (1855). Ralph Nicholson Wornum, ed. Biographical catalogue of the principal Italian painters. Woodfall & Kinder, Angel Court, Skinner Street, London; Digitized by Googlebooks from Oxford University copy on Jun 27, 2006. p. 14.
- Ticozzi, Stefano (1830). Dizionario degli architetti, scultori, pittori, intagliatori in rame ed in pietra, coniatori di medaglie, musaicisti, niellatori, intarsiatori d’ogni etá e d’ogni nazione' (Volume 1). Gaetano Schiepatti; Digitized by Googlebooks, Jan 24, 2007. p. 94.
- Soprani, Raffaello (1768). Vite de' pittori, scultori, ed architetti genovesi.