Although Onofrio Avellino was probably born in 1674, little is known about his origins except for the school of art he belonged to. He trained under Luca Giordano in Naples, and Onofrio Avellino's early work is indistinguishable from Giordano's. Onofrio Avellino did such faithful copies of his master's work that they can be confused with the originals and he also finished paintings begun by Giordano.
When Giordano moved to Spain in 1692, Onofrio Avellino continued training under Francesco Solimena, another Neapolitan master. His new teacher and the experiences Avellino had in Rome lent his work a classical, academic tendency. Avelliono's portraits especially reveal Solimena's influence.
Work by Avellino is in Sorrento, Vico and Naples. His mature work, on the other hand, was done in Rome, where Avellino settled in 1718. Here the influence of Carlo Maratta on Avellino's palette is apparent whereas the portraits, with which Avellino was particularly concerned at the time, still reveal his training in Solimena's school.
Onofrio Avellino died in Rome on 17 April 1741. The Avellino "Madonna with Saints and Angels" in Sorrento dates from his early period. The "Saints Ciro and John Healing the Sick" in Vico is also early, as are two paintings of St Dominic in Naples. In Rome the splendid ceilings in San Francesco di Paolo and Santa Maria del Carmine are Avellino's work. A "Last Supper" in the Pisani Collection in Naples is a late work by Avellino. Unfortunately, several famous works by Onofrio Avellino have been lost but what remains conveys quite a good idea of what this talented early 18th-century painter could do.