VITTORIA, Alessandro
(b. 1525, Trento, d. 1608, Venezia

Bust of Sebastiano Venier

Palazzo Ducale, Venice

It was during the 1570s that Vittoria brought his portrait style close to perfection. From the busts of Contarini and Giuseppe Grimani (marble, 1573; Venice, San Giuseppe di Castello) to that of Tommaso Rangone (bronze, c. 1575; Venice, Ateneo Veneto) for San Geminiano, Venice (Vittoria's only bronze bust), there is a steady progression in which the size and breadth of the torso are increased, the contrapposto of head and torso is more intense and complex, and the richness of chiaroscuro contrasts is deeper. The busts also increase in expressive power, for example those of Ottaviano Grimani (marble; Berlin, Staatliche Museen), Orsato Giustiniani (marble; Padua, Museo Civico) and Sebastiano Venier (marble; Venice, Palazzo Ducale).

The picture shows the bust of Sebastiano Venier (c. 1496-1578), Doge of Venice from 11 June 1577 to 3 March 1578. He is best remembered in his role as the Venetian admiral at the Battle of Lepanto. The bust is in the Armeria (Armoury) of the Palazzo Ducale.