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Portrait of a Man

ca. 1508
12 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (32.4 x 26 cm)

Vincenzo di Biagio Catena
Italy (ca. 1470 - 1531)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on panel
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1949.64
Location: Currently on view
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Vicenzo Catena was active a generation after Hans Memling, the Northern Renaissance artist who inspired Kehinde Wiley’s contemporary portrait nearby. Despite a difference of 500 years in the creation of Catena’s and Wiley’s portraits, the similarities are striking. Both are three-quarter profiles of young men of their day, set in a distant landscape. The sitters are linked not by social status but by their stillness and intensity of gaze, and by their immediate relationship to the viewer.

Catena’s patrons were primarily members of the aristocratic and wealthy classes of Venice, Italy, of which the sitter for "Portrait of a Young Man" was certainly a member. The portrait’s aesthetic appeal derives from the simple, crisp composition; high level of craftsmanship; strong characterization of the sitter; and fluid use of brilliant and contrasting oil glazes.

[Hawks Gallery reinstallation, summer 2019]

Queen Charlotte of Württemberg, Germany (1766-1828), as by Giovanni Bellini; Royal Gallery, Württemberg, Germany; Julius Böhler, Munich, and Lucerne Fine Art Company, Lucerne, Switzerland (dealers), by 1926; Jacques Seligmann and Company, New York (dealers), by 1933; their sale ("C. S. Wadsworth Trust"), Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, December 11, 1948, lot 39; Julius Weitzner, New York (dealer); Edwin D. Levinson, New York (1876-1954); purchased from Levinson through Caesar R. Diorio, New York (dealer) by the Gallery in 1949

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