loading page

Loading the page ...

Giovanni Cattini

(1725 – circa 1804, Venice)

Half-length Portrait of Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Etching and engraving. 44 x 33.4 cm. 1743. Le Blanc 1, Succi, p. 130. Watermark: Letters AS (Heawood 3084).

This vivid portrait shows the Venetian painter prince in his fifty-second year at the height of his noteworthy artistic career. It is based on a portrait drawing made by Piazzetta in 1735 which has a dedication in his own hand. The artist looks at the viewer with self-confidence and a hint of disdain. His angular face with its pronounced nose and high forehead radiates an awareness of his own importance, the wavy allonge wig and the fur collar underlining his elevated social status. The whole is treated with great technical virtuosity. The engraver, Giovanni Cattini, who studied under the painter and engraver, Giovanni Antonio Faldoni, demonstrates his consummate skill here. The portrait is executed with considerable variety and remarkable virtuosity. While the physiognomy and complexion are etched in a detailed, very intricate manner, the hair and fur collar are treated surprisingly freely and exhibit a textural quality verging on the tangible. This contrast gives the sitter a tremendous vitality and physical presence. It is as if Piazzetta the man were facing us in the flesh. A superb, nuanced and harmonious impression with the full margins. An inconspicuous smoothed drying fold, otherwise in perfect condition.

Contact us for further information