Cavallino was one of the most original and refined Neapolitan painters of the mid-seventeenth century, notable among his contemporaries for his relatively high-keyed palette. His career is not well documented and there are few signed and dated works. He is said to have been a pupil of the talented and successful Massimo Stanzione, although his earlier works exhibit a strong naturalistic bent that has more in common with Jusepe de Ribera and especially with the anonymous Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds. As his short career progressed his style became increasingly sophisticated and classical. Cavallino’s output is dominated by small and medium-sized paintings on canvas or copper, with subjects drawn from the Old Testament and classical mythology. His main clientele was to be found among the burgeoning number of Neapolitan private collectors and connoisseurs, with hardly any public commissions. He is thought to have been a victim of the terrible plague that struck Naples in 1656.