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20 July 2014

A little Sunday Saraceni

Here are Four works to contemplate for a fine Sunday evening, all of them by Carlo Saraceni. The Getty has a good blurb on the artist:

Carlo Saraceni  
b. about 1579 Venice, Italy, d. 1620 Venice, Italy
Carlo Saraceni dressed in French clothes, spoke French fluently, and had French followers, but he never visited France and his jewel-like painting style was most influenced by German and Italian artists.

After training in his birthplace of Venice, Saraceni settled in Rome in 1598. He had joined the Accademia di San Luca by 1607. In the early 1600s, Saraceni painted small-scale biblical and mythological subjects on copper, then a relatively new support in Rome. German artist Adam Elsheimer's style inspired the vast landscape settings that Saraceni began using so frequently and so well; their paintings were regularly confused.

After Elsheimer and Caravaggio died in 1610, Saraceni seems to have inherited their market. Primarily occupied with public commissions, he painted numerous altarpieces in and around Rome. He grew increasingly interested in Caravaggio's art, painting larger figures, subtle light effects, and momentary actions. Elsheimer's influence remained equally strong: Saraceni continued creating Elsheimer-inspired poetic landscape backgrounds.

And the works:

Mary Magdalene Reading

St Cecilia and the Angel

The martyrdom of St Cecilia

Icarus Burial

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