Artibus et Historiae no. 74 (XXXVII)2016, ISSN 0391-9064
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ANIK WALDECK - Vincenzo Catena and Giorgione, Reconsidered (pp. 59–71)
The first dated reference to the Venetian painter Vincenzo Catena appears in an enigmatic inscription on the verso of Giorgione’s so-called Laura in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, that reads: ‘1506 adj primo zugno fo fatto questo de mā de maistro zorzi da chastel fr[ancho] | cholega da maistro vizenzo chaena ad instanzia de miser giacomo […]’ (‘On the first of June 1506 this was made by the hand of master Giorgio from Castelfranco, colleague of master Vincenzo Catena, at the request of misser Giacomo […]’; the last name of ‘miser giacomo’ is illegible and his identity has yet to be determined). Although the inscription, which is generally believed to be contemporary with the picture, is evidence of a connection between the two painters, it leaves the precise nature of their relationship open to speculation. This article investigates the ties between Giorgione and Catena – a relatively wealthy member of the cittadini class who counted among his acquaintance such figures as Antonio di Marsilio, Giovanni Battista Cipelli, otherwise known as Battista Egnazio, Marcantonio Michiel and Pietro Bembo, to name but a few – and explores the extent to which Catena’s later work was influenced by Giorgione, a claim so often made in the literature.