Carlo Saraceni Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 640

Saraceni probably painted this oil on copper soon after his arrival in Rome from Venice around 1598 and in response specifically to Francesco Bassano’s altarpiece representing this subject in the Roman Church of the Gesù. The influence of Venetian artists remains strong in terms of composition, but the stylistic impact of northern artists active in Rome is already striking, notably from the paintings of Adam Elsheimer, who frequently worked on copper and used its hard surface to meticulously render complex forms at a small scale. This painting’s patron is unknown, but he is probably portrayed as the man looking out from composition’s bottom left.

Paradise, Carlo Saraceni (Italian, Venice 1579?–1620 Venice), Oil on copper

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