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Vittore Carpaccio

Painter and Draughtsman

ca. 1465 in Venice
1525 / 1526 in Venice

One Work by Vittore Carpaccio

Works displaying Vittore Carpaccio


Vittore Carpaccio was born in 1465, the son of a Venetian furrier. He is mentioned first in 1472 in the testament of his uncle Zuane Scarpazza, who lived as a monk in the monastery San Orsoiain in Padua, and then again in 1486 in a document relating to his father's rent payments. His 'Salvator', presumably painted in the second half of the 1480s and now in the Stanley Moss Collection in Riverdale, N. Y., still shows the influence of the works of Antonello da Messina and Giovanni Bellini. It is considered the earliest work by the artist, for he signed it with the Venetian form of his name, "Vetor Scarpazo", which he did not use later. Carpaccio had already begun using the Latinised form of his name, "Victor Carpatius", in 1490, for his painting of the arrival of St Ursula in Cologne. This was the first painting of the cycle destined for the Scuola di Santa Orsola, now in the Accademia in Venice. The artist was occupied with the completion of the Ursula cycle until 1500, but during this period, around 1494/95, he contributed the 'Healing of the Possessed Man' to the picture series for the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista. Venetian brotherhoods also commissioned Carpaccio and his workshop in the following years to decorate their meeting places: In 1501/02 he painted the St George cycle for the Scuola degli Schiavoni, in 1502-07 the Mary cycle for the Scuola degli Albanesi. His first painting of the St Stephen legend is dated 1511, part of the series of paintings for the brotherhood named after the saint. In addition, Carpaccio worked for the Venetian state; for example, in 1501/02 he was paid for the delivery of a painting for the Sala dei Pregadi in the Doge's Palace. In 1507 he took part in the delivery of paintings, under the direction of Giovanni Bellini, for the lost cycle with scenes from the lives of Pope Alexander III and Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa for the palace's Sala del Maggior Consiglio. In December 1508 Carpaccio was among the artists summoned to appraise Giorgione's frescoes on the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. On 15 August 1511 the painter referred to himself as "pittore di stato" in a letter offering a large view of Jerusalem to the margrave Francesco Gonzaga in Mantua. Documentary information about the artist is lacking between the beginning of the 1510s and that of the 1520s, even though there are signed and dated works from this period. In the years 1522/23 Carpaccio was occupied with the execution of paintings, now lost, in Venice's Patriarchal Palace next to S Pietro di Castello. He also painted a - lost - depiction of the appearance of the risen Christ before the three women at the tomb in these years, for the burial chapel of the patriarch Antonio Contarini. In 1523, finally, he delivered painted organ wings for the cathedral in Capodistria (today Koper, Slovenia). In addition to the richly decorative, narrative paintings for the scuola brotherhoods, Carpaccio painted numerous votive pictures for private use. His oeuvre shows only a slight stylistic development, which - in combination with his use of patterns from various sources - makes the chronological placement of undated works problematic. Also contributing to this difficulty is his frequent reuse of individual motifs that he developed and modified many times in drawings.