(b Sassoferato, 1609;d Rome, 1685) Italian Painter. Giovanni Battista Salvi, more commonly known as 'il Sassoferato', after the town in which he was born, learned the rudiments of painting from his father Tarquino before embarking on a trip to Rome. There he studied the works of his contemporaries, including Reni, Domenichino, and the Carracci. His greatest influence, however, was Raphael and he is known to have directly copied the latter's compositions (see, for example, Sassoferato's Madonna and Child in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin [inv. no. 482], which is directly based on Raphael's Madonna of the Pinks on loan to the National Gallery, London). Despite being an accomplished portraitist, Sassoferato specialized in easel paintings of a devotional nature, usually representing the Madonna alone or with the Christ Child. The large number of autograph and studio replicas of Sassoferrato's compositions attest to the popularity they enjoyed within the artist's own lifetime. (Credit: Sotheby’s, New York, Important Old Master Paintings, Including European Works of Art, January 29, 2009, Lot 59)
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