(b. 1609, Sassoferrato, d. 1685, Roma)


Giovanni Battista Salvi, Italian painter known by the name of his town of birth - Sassoferrato - and active in nearby Urbino and other cities of central Italy, notably Rome (where he was a pupil of Domenichino) and Perugia. He did some portraits but specialized in religious works painted in an extremely sweet, almost Peruginesque style. They are very clearly drawn and pure in colouring and totally un-Baroque in feeling - indeed they have a deliberately archaic quality that brings the paintings of the Nazarenes (a group of young, idealistic German painters of the early 19th century) to mind.

Little is known of his life (in the 18th century it was evidently generally believed he was a contemporary of Raphael) and few of his pictures are dated or datable; they seem to have been in great demand, however, as his compositions often exist in numerous very similar versions. Most of them were presumably done for private collectors, as few are in churches. Examples of his work are in many galleries and a fine collection of his drawings (virtually his entire surviving output as a draughtsman) is in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle.