Legal documents mention a Giovanni ‘painter’, then ‘master’, living in Rimini in 1292. He is assumed to be the same artist as the JOHES PICTOR (John the Painter) who signed the monumental Crucifix still in the church of San Francesco in the hill town of Mercatello sul Metauro. The very damaged frescoes representing the 'Life of the Virgin, with Augustinian Saints and Two Female Donors' in the Campanile Chapel of San Agostino, Rimini (dated. c. 1300–10) are probably also by Giovanni.
Giovanni da Rimini was one of a small group of artists who for a short period in the early 14th century made the Italian port city of Rimini a centre for some of the most innovative painting in Europe, characterised by its combination of jewel-like delicacy, emotional intensity, and iconographic originality. Surviving paintings by members of the School of Rimini are rare, and paintings by Giovanni, the most talented member of the group, are exceptionally so.