Giovanni Battista Salvi, called Sassoferrato after the town where he was born and where he first studied with his father, Tarquinio. It has been said he studied in Rome and Naples, but that the artist's MS. memoirs (now untraced) named only one Domenico as his master. It has often been assumed, without documentary evidence that this refers to Domenichino, who left Rome in 1631 to work in Naples.
His favourite masters were Raphael, Titian and Guido Reni, but he also took from works by many others. The dependent quality of his work makes it impossible to define any stylistic evolution and as yet only two of his works can be dated: the S. Francis de Paula kneeling before the Madonna and Child of 1641 in the church of S. Francesco da Paola, Rome, and the Madonna del Rosario of 1643 which was given that year to the church of S. Sabina, Rome, by the Princess Rossano.
He also painted some clerical portraits (and some landscapes). Sassoferrato died on 8 August 1685 probably in Florence.