Gonin initially studied under Giovanni Battista Biscarra at the Accademia Albertina in Turin. He later learned fresco painting from the scenic designer of the Teatro Regio, Luigi Vacca. He illustrated Alessandro Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi. From 1840 to 1841, he collaborated with Carlo Bellosio to paint the ballroom and hall at the Royal Palace in Turin. Gonin decorated also the walls and ceiling of the theatre in the city of La Spezia, and, in 1845, the Carignano theatre of Turin. He spent the next year decorating three churches in Turin. He painted the theaters of Asti and Vigevano, the Cathedral of Alessandria, the church Della Sforzesca, and the figures at the waiting hall of the train station of Porta Nuova. He also painted many historical canvases.