(b Venice, c. 1579; d Venice, June 16, 1620).
Italian painter. He is best known for his jewel-like paintings representing sacred and secular themes, which combine a delicate technique inspired by Adam Elsheimer with a note of observed realism owed to Caravaggio. He also painted altarpieces and worked in fresco.
By 1598 Saraceni had moved from Venice to Rome, where he studied with Camillo Mariani (1556–1611), a minor artist from Vicenza (Baglione). While the composition and modest scale of Saraceni’s earliest extant work, Perseus and Andromeda (c. 1598–1600; Dijon, Mus. B.-A.), are much indebted to the Late Mannerist style of the Cavaliere d’Arpino, the figure types and technique are distinctly his own and appear in his later paintings. The forms are softly modelled with fine brushwork. Andromeda’s elongated figure, limber pose, smooth flesh and unindividualized anatomy appear again in Saraceni’s slightly later painting of Paradise (New York, Met.). Delicately tapered fingers, round, high foreheads and small facial features are also characteristic of his style. His early Roman works reflect many sources: paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, whose art he had absorbed in Venice, and by Adam Elsheimer, whose paintings he would have seen in Rome, and whose influence helped to shape the composition of the ...