Giacomo Francesco Cipper said the Todeschini was born in Feldkirch, on the border between Austria and Switzerland, in 1664. In the nineties is already certainly in Milan, a guest of the Carcano family, while in the early eighteenth century date his first pictorial evidence, including a still life.
Still life: between Flemish painting and Monsù Bernardo
Throughout the first part of his career, he devoted himself almost exclusively to this genre, carrying on the tradition of the Italian seventeenth century, sensitively influenced by the optical precision of Flemish still lifes and by the poetics of the Danish painter who had moved to Milan, Monsù Bernardo.
The first certain work of Todeschini is a Still life with celery, cherries, figs and cheese, in which one immediately notices the adhesion to the naturalistic vein, which will be reproposed also in the genre scenes, surely mindful of the Roman bambocciate. Through a bright chromatism, which invests the objects of the painting and contrasts with the strong dark shadows of the backgrounds, Todeschini adopts a volumetric formalism, clearly visible in still lifes such as Composition of Birds and The Fish Seller with a Brawl of Sailors. His lively and mimetic compositions focus on details rendered in a lenticular manner, just as he would later do in genre scenes.
Genre painting: humble and serene scenes
In the genre genre, the Austrian painter followed the popular trend of scenes of old people gathered in poor, dimly lit settings, beggars in the street, card players and tavern patrons. It is the chronicle of a hidden world but teeming with curious subjects, rendered at times in a caricatured manner and with a vein of irony, which will later be taken up as the favorite subject by Giacomo Ceruti known as Pitocchetto but with a greater monumentality and solemnity that will give dignity to the humble represented.
On the contrary, Todeschini implements a simple interpretation and a no-frills narration of reality, without celebrations or pietism. His protagonists, representatives of a society made up of peasants, drinkers, gamblers, humble workers, are shown for what they are, in a quiet and idyllic dimension, far from the tragedy of reality.
In these ad hoc orchestrated scenes, like small theatrical skits, everything is in its place, as can be seen in the Family Scenes preserved at the Civic Museum of Treviso. Many scenes also offer the occasion for the insertion of accurate and realistic still lifes, as in Game seller and Gypsy fortune teller.
Other particularly significant works by Todeschini are Old Musicians, Tavern Scene, Master of Domestic Work, The Cheaters, Fish Market, Music Master, Boy Feeding the Ducks, Painter in his Study.
If in the works of the early eighteenth century, the preferred to adopt a bright palette to be used for serene outdoor scenes, in the twenties and thirties his production is filled with interior scenes, made with a darker color scheme that helps to bring out the characters from areas of shadow and to highlight the technical expertise and chromatic virtuosity.