The Venetian portrait painter, Vincenzo Catena
"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.
"Portrait of a Man as a Martyr", ca. 1500, oil on board, Borromeo Collection, Isola Bella, Stresa
"Portrait of "Francesco Maria della Rovere", 1505-1510, oil on board, Accademia Carrara, Bergamo
"Portrait of a Gentleman", 1531, oil on board, Huntington Museum of Art, West Virgina
"Portrait of Niccolò Fabri", ca. 1510, oil on board, Columbia Museum of Art
"Portrait of a Man with Book", ca. 1520, oil on board, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
"Portrait of Giangiorgio Trissino", ca. 1525, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris
"Portrait of a Young Man", ca. 1510, oil on canvas, National Gallery, London
"Portrait of a Young Man", detail
"Portrait of Doge Andrea Gritti", 1523-31, oil on canvas, National Gallery, London
"Portrait of Giambattista Memmo", ca. 1510, tempera on board, Lowe Art Museum, Miami
"Judith", 1520-30, oil on board, Galleria Querini Stampalia, Venice
"Portrait of a Saint with Red Drape", 16th century, oil on board, private collection
"Portrait of a Woman", 16th century, oil on board, private collection
"Portrait of a Woman as Mary Magdalene", 1510-1515, oil on board, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
"Portrait of a Woman", ca. 1520, oil on board, El Paso Museum of Art, Texas
"Portrait of a Young Woman", ca. 1505, oil on board, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
January 6, 2016