The Venetian portrait painter, Vincenzo Catena

Vincenzo Catena, ritratti - portraits

"Portrait of a Man", 16th century, oil on board, private collection

Vincenzo Catena (ca. 1470-1530) was a Venetian painter in the first half of the 16th century. We know very little about his life, mostly from the provisions of his will – which suggests he was a wealthy man “who painted for pleasure and became famous with the works he left […] and who at his death instituted a few pious bequests to celebrate sacrifices to the gods, marry young women, and give charity to poor painters” (translated from G. Moschini, “Giovanni Bellino e pittori contemporanei”, Orlandelli, Venice 1834).

In his art, he was influenced by Bellini, Cima da Conegliano, Alvise Vivarini, Giorgione, Titian and, during his stay in Rome (around 1520), even Raphael.

His talent best emerged in portrait painting, which he focused on – as Giorgio Vasari wrote in his “Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects” – as soon as he reached creative maturity.

Here is a gallery of those beautiful works.

January 6, 2016