Marcantonio Bassetti, whose artistic personality is only beginning to emerge from obscurity, was born in Verona and after studying under Brusasorci moved to Venice, where he seems to have studied the works of Tintoretto, Veronese, the Bassani, and Palma Giovane. In 1616 he is recorded in Rome, where he was influenced by the followers of Elsheimer. He is claimed by Longhi as a follower of Caravaggio, and was included in the Caravaggio exhibition of 1951, but he is only Caravaggesque in the very widest sense of the term.
His style is an essentially eclectic blending of elements taken from late sixteenth-century Venetian painting and others picked up in Rome, so that historically he forms a parallel to Saraceni, with whom he collaborated in paintings for Santa Maria della'Anima while in Rome.
A preparatory drawing for this composition is in H.M. The Queen's Collection, Windsor Castle (see A. Blunt, Venetian Drawings ... at Windsor Castle, London, 1957, p. 25, no. 7, pl. 8).
In a period Tabernacle frame.