(b. 1518, Venezia, d. 1594, Venezia)

Portrait of Procurator Antonio Cappello

c. 1551
Oil on canvas, 114 x 80 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

This was probably one of the first official portraits that Tintoretto painted for the procurators, the powerful Venetian officers of state. Antonio Cappello (1494?-1565), as "provveditore sopra la fabbrica del Palazzo", was the power behind the state program of rebuilding and renovation, coordinated by Jacopo Sansovino. He signed the contract for the giants, as a procurator of St Mark's he supervised the hiring of Alessandro Vittoria, and Francesco Sansovino gives credit to him for overseeing the Loggetta. He was also a particularly important patron for Tintoretto.

In composition and execution, this imposing portrait still looks very Titianesque. As the colour is only thinly applied, the structure of the canvas also plays a part. It lends the painted surface a vibrant character making the sitter appear very much alive.