Paulo was born in Florence, the son of a professional painter. He and his elder brother Valentino were tutored from an early age before his independent spirit led him to leave his father’s studio and move to Verna where he lived and painted for five years in the 1920s. He made his painting debut in Milan in 1929 at the Galleria Pesaro, showing alongside his father and brother. It is said that his mother was responsible for sending his work to the first Rome Quadrennial in 1931, without his knowledge. Whatever the truth, he was accepted and hung in what was then the principal national showcase for the best in Italian art and crafts. His brother had befriended Ettore Petrolini, a famous film and stage actor of the day and through his connections Paulo was launched onto the capital’s art scene. He soon established himself as the portrait painter of choice in Roman society, even painting Josephine Baker on a trip to Paris.
In the 1960s he spent a prolonged period in California, living in Los Angeles and San Francisco, portraying Hollywood and its players; at the end of the decade he moved back to Verna, in Tuscany , where a renewed interest in his work led to major public exhibitions including a solo show at the Galleria Michelangelo di Firenze in 1967, another in Florence in 1973 at Palazzo Strozzi, in Rome at the Quadriennale's Palazzo delle Esposizioni, and in 1975 in Assisi with a large exhibition inspired by St. Francis.
His works are found in museums internationally:, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the Scala of Milan, the public collection Ricci Oddi in Piacenza , the Modern Art Museum of Livorno , the gallery modern art of the Pitti Palace, the Balzan foundation, the Carima Foundatio and two self-portraits at the Uffizi.