Giovanni Battista Torriglia, a student at the Ligustica Academy of Fine Arts from 1875 to 1882, was, together with Luigi Gainotti and Angelo Vernazza, a pupil of Nicolò Barbino, "the master of masters" whose workshop assistant he became after his studies.
The three pupils would later meet again in Nicolò Barbino's studio, thus giving rise to a long friendship and collaboration that, as Vitaliano Rocchiero states, would be recognized in the "Barabinian School."
However, the Barabinian school, supported by the main pupils: those who can be called such for having emulated the master, evidently without knowing it, lived on, also because of a certain fidelity to the master's ways, through the work of Gainotti, Torriglia and, later, after the daring Divisionist deviations, Vernazza.
In 1886 Giovanni Battista Torriglia as a result of the favorable judgments of the professors of the Ligustica Academy with combined classes Painting and Sculpture, he was awarded the Marchese Marcello Durazzo Pension, which for merit was extended until 1891.
His participation in the Società Promotrice di Belle Arti in 1883 is documented constitutes his public debut with two works, "Passatempi in villeggiatura" and "Testa di vecchia."
In 1901 he settled for a time in Florence to attend the local Institute of Fine Arts, to this period dates the painting "The First Born" today preserved precisely at the Gallery of Modern Art in Florence.
In 1901 he settled in Tuscany for a number of years with a friend and colleague Tito Lessi (1858-1917).
From this time he slowly began to paint religious and historical subjects and romantic interior subjects, depicting family life in Italy. His early subjects and studies of figurative painting certainly set him apart for what would become his hallmark of wonderful romantic paintings.
Giovanni Battista Torriglia in 1912 was named an Academician of Merit at the Ligustica Academy of Fine Arts, and so did the Institute of Fine Arts in Florence, enrolling him as an honorary member of its corresponding members.
These awards testify to the artist's now achieved success especially in the field of history painting, portraiture, religious painting, and especially in the animated and minutely real, family interiors that gave him wide fame among his contemporaries.