Bologna-born Domenico Zampieri ('Little Domenico', 1581–1641) was a pupil of Denys Calvaert, and later of the Carracci. He was a special favourite of Annibale, whom he followed to Rome, where by 1615 he became the city’s most popular painter—so popular, in fact, that he painted almost nothing in his home town, though a few works have found their way to the Pinacoteca.
In Rome, Domenichino studied the statues of the ancient world and the High Renaissance painters, evolving a style that strove for a classical, eternal ideal in drawing and composition. He held an immensely high reputation from his own time through the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Domenichino died while working in Naples, possibly by poison at the hands of the notorious gang of local artists let by José de Ribera, 'Il Spagnoletto', who were attempting to monopolize commissions in the city.