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Vicenzo Catena

An elusive character

Catena's portrait of Doge Andrea Gritti

Little is known about Renaissance painter Vincenzo Catena (c. 1470 – 1531), also known as Vincenzo de Biagio. He was a follower of Antonello da Messina, as seen in his portraits, with their vivid colors and stylized geometrical compositions. He was also inspired by Giovanni Bellini and Titian and apparently a friend of Giorgione as well. Some say he was a really a wealthy spice merchant who painted on the side.

Several of his paintings remain in Venice, notably in the Fondazione Querini-Stampalia. There's a tondo attributed to him in Santa Maria Formosa, while his best-loved work is the Martyrdom of Santa Cristina (1520) in Santa Maria Materdomini.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: PD Art