Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) (Italian, Venetian, 15281588)
Oil on canvas; 43 1/2 x 32 1/4 in. (110.5 x 81.9 cm)
Gwynne Andrews Fund, 1946 (46.31)
In this portrait, the features of the greatest Venetian sculptor of the later sixteenth century, Alessandro Vittoria, are recorded by the greatest painter of his generation, Veronese. The head corresponds closely with that of the bust executed by Vittoria after 1595 for his sepulchral monument in San Zaccaria in Venice. Vittoria is shown with the model for one of his most famous statues, the Saint Sebastian, carved in 156162 for the Church of San Francesco della Vigna. This figure is based on the so-called Dying Slave of Michelangelo, now in the Louvre, and was reproduced by Vittoria in 1566 and again in 1575 as a bronze statuette. One of these is in the Metropolitan Museum. The fragmentary torso on the table on the left is antique. The imagery thus refers to the two prime sources of Vittoria's sculptural style. The portrait seems to have been executed about 1570.