VERONESE, Paolo
(b. 1528, Verona, d. 1588, Venezia)

Portrait of Alessandro Vittoria

c. 1575
Oil on canvas, 110 x 77 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

There are good reasons for the identification with the Venetian sculptor Alessandro Vittoria (c. 1525-1608). Vittoria had already had his portrait painted in 1552/53 by the Lombard painter Giovanni Battista Moroni. Comparisons with that picture (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) and the bust he himself executed for his tomb before 1595 in the Venetian church of San Zaccaria leave no doubt as to the subject's identity. The sculptor grasps the "modello" of a statuette with both hands. This model is for one of his most famous statues, the St Sebastian, carved in 1561-63 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.