- Also known as
Giovanni Battista Sassoferrato
primary name: Sassoferrato, Giovanni Battista
other name: Salvi, Giovanni Battista
- individual; painter/draughtsman; Roman; Italian; Male
- Life dates
- Painter, b.Sassoferrato 1609, d.Rome 1685. Giovanni Battista Salvi, called Sassoferrato.
Very little is known of Sassoferrato's artistic beginnings since his life seems to have eluded the early biographers. After an apprenticeship with his father Tarquinio, he is thought to have studied with Domenichino (q.v.) in Naples. He then probably travelled through Umbria, where he painted on canvas ten saints for the ceiling of the sacristy in the Benedictine convent of S. Pietro, Perugia, in 1630. His 'Annunciation', also in S.Pietro, is the first of a number of free copies after Raphael (1632-40). Sassoferrato's archaistic manner, with its emphasis on symmetrical design and a clear outline, appeared so anachronistic that he was long taken for a follower of Raphael, though his style derives in large part from Domenichino.
By 1641 Sassoferrato was in Rome, where he produced the canvas 'St Francis of Paola before the Virgin and Child' for the ceiling of the sacristy of S. Francesco di Paola, and soon established himself as a painter of portraits, such as that of 'Monsignore Ottaviano Prati', Palazzo Barberini, Rome (c. 1650), and small devotional works. Altarpieces by Sassoferrato are rare, though his large 'Madonna of the Rosary', commissioned by Olimpia Aldobrandini-Pamphilj in 1643 for the chapel of St Catherine in S. Sabina, Rome, is one of his best-known works. A great part of Sassoferrato's oeuvre consists of images of the Virgin, which he repeated with minor variations in numerous versions.
- Turner 1999
Francis Russell, BM 1977, pp.694ff on Sassoferrato's sources