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John J. Chvostal

(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 ...

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Fernando Benito Domenech

(b Aragon, 1545; d Valencia, 1619).

Spanish painter. Associated with the stylistic change that took place in Valencian painting during the last two decades of the 16th century, he introduced a new naturalism in contrast to the idealized style of followers of Juan de Juanes. Sariñena was in Italy between 1570 and 1575; he came in contact with Venetian painting and, in Rome, with the work of Scipione Pulzone and Francesco Vanni. In 1580 he was established in Valencia, where he became a highly respected portraitist and religious painter and worked for the Generalidad (provincial government), the Ayuntamiento (municipality) and for Archbishop Juan de Ribera. In 1595 he was appointed official painter (pintor oficial) to the city of Valencia. His early paintings from 1580 to 1600 show cool colours and simple planes, while from 1600, through contact with Francisco Ribalta, his work developed greater plasticity, and he used warmer, more Venetian colouring.

In Sariñena’s portraits of the ...