Artibus et Historiae no. 62 (XXXI)

2010, ISSN 0391-9064

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GUDRUN SWOBODA - A Touchstone of a “Penetrating Eye”: Marcello Venusti’s St Catherine in the Lavater Collection

The collection assembled by Johann Caspar Lavater († 1801), a parson, physiognomist and writer from Zurich, is a perfect example of the “bourgeois” collections that became increasingly popular during the eighteenth century. Lavater’s “Kabinett” is today in the Austrian National Library; this paper proposes the attribution of one of its Old Master drawings to Marcello Venusti (1512–1579), and connects it with both an earlier ink drawing and the finished altarpiece in the Roman church of S. Agostino. In the mid-sixteenth century Venusti was among the leading artists in Rome, famous, among other things, for executing drawings in oil for Michelangelo.

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