He trained with Giovanni Contarini, a pupil of the late Titian. Tinelli then either worked under or emulated Leandro Bassano. He was well known for his portraits of aristocracy, merchants, and intellectuals in Venice, whom he often painted in historical dress. His small pictures of historical and mythological subjects were also popular. Some of his pictures found their way into the collection of Louis XIII, king of France, who knighted him with the order of Michael. He moved later in life in Florence. Domestic afflictions drove him into a state of despondency, causing him to commit suicide.
- Portrait of Francesco Querini (c. 1615), Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
- Portrait of Luigi Moli (1637-1638), Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice.
- Portrait of Ludovico Widmann (1637), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
- Portrait di Emilia Papafava Borromeo, Museo d'Arte Medioevale e Moderna, Padua
- Bryan, Michael (1889). Walter Armstrong & Robert Edmund Graves, ed. Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, Biographical and Critical (Volume II: L-Z). York St. #4, Covent Garden, London; Original from Fogg Library, Digitized May 18, 2007: George Bell and Sons. pp. 573–574.
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