(b. ca. 1509, Colonnata, Carrara, d. 1572, Padova)

Bust of Pietro Bembo

Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua

Between 1543 and 1548 Cattaneo and Tiziano Minio (1517–52) were engaged on a project for bronze gates for the chapel of Sant'Antonio in the Santo, but this was later abandoned. In the nave of the Santo, however, are two portrait busts by Cattaneo, of Pietro Bembo (1547) and Alessandro Contarini (c. 1553). The marble bust of Bembo was the focal-point of an imposing monument of which Palladio was probably the author, and its incisive characterization won the admiration of Aretino and Titian. Cattaneo had a flair for portraiture in both marble and bronze and helped to popularise the new type of all'antica portrait bust with a bell-like treatment of the torso.

Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) was an Italian scholar, poet, literary theorist, member of the Knights Hospitaller and a cardinal. He was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language, specifically Tuscan, as a literary medium, codifying the language for standard modern usage. His writings assisted in the 16th-century revival of interest in the works of Petrarch.

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