Giovanni Civardi was born in Milan in 1947. While training to become a sculptor, portrait artist and illustrator at the Free Life-Study School of the Accademia di Brera, he also studied medicine and surgery. For over a decade, he worked as an illustrator, producing commissions for newspapers, magazines and book covers. During frequent trips to France and Denmark, Civardi put on one-man exhibitions of this work and pursued his interest in studying the relationship between medical anatomy and the human form as depicted by the artist. His experience gained from teaching anatomy, life drawing and portraiture in schools and institutions over many years has led to the publication of numerous books in which Civardi's experiences are brought into focus.