Barbara Zanelli currently lives in Philadelphia, PA in the United States. She came to Philadelphia in 2004 to study at Studio Incamminati on a scholarship from Nelson Shanks. Before that she had been living in Florence, Italy for a year. Zanelli had gone to Florence because while meeting success in NYC, she felt drawn to learn more about classical painting in the city she fell in love with five years prior. While there, she studied drawing with sculptor Mario Pachioli, who studied with Pietro Annigoni.
Continuously challenging herself to find new expressions through painting and drawing and the combination of the two, Zanelli has been working on all different types of approaches from gestural, alla prima to slowly worked-up photorealistic painting. She currently paints plein air, figure paintings, still lifes, portraits and combined paintings from life, photo and imagination. She also works on traced monotypes, a drawing technique used by many painters of the past including Gauguin and Degas.