(b. 1579, Venezia, d. 1620, Venezia)


Saraceni spent almost all his career in Rome, where he formed his style under the influence of Caravaggio and Elsheimer, painting small luminous pictures of figures in landscapes as well as much larger altarpieces, including the replacement of Caravaggio's Death of the Virgin (Louvre, Paris), which the church of Sta Maria della Scala had rejected in 1606. Saraceni's picture is still "in situ". He painted several other smaller variants or versions of the picture, so the design was evidently popular. His style was sensitive and poetic, showing a delicate feeling for colour and tone. His liking for turbans, tasselled fringes, and stringy drapery folds, and his richly impasted paint may have influenced Dutch artists in Rome such as Lastman and Pynas, and through them Rembrandt.