Doge Andrea Contarini with Soldiers

WAG 1214


The Bassanos were a family of Italian painters who took their name from the town of Bassano del Grappa where they had their workshop. They were active in Venice and the surrounding area from the early 16th to the early 17th century. They were also known as 'del Ponte', because their workshop was close to the bridge in Bassano. This is a copy from a wall-painting in the main Council Chamber of the Ducal Palace in Venice. The original painting was by Paolo Veronese and his studio, and showed the return of Doge Contarini to Venice after his victory at Chioggia in 1381. The Bassanos had a close artistic relationship with the Veronese workshop, sometimes sketching figures directly from paintings for future reference and repetition. The figures in this drawing could have easily been reused in later compositions. The drawing was previously attributed to Jacopo Bassano, but the original painting was executed in the late 1580s, well after Jacopo had gone blind and handed over the running of the family business to his sons Francesco and Leandro. Whoever the draughtsman, he had used a typical Venetian combination of blue colour paper (first imported from Western Asia in the 16th century), and black chalk, ideal for suggested the effects of oil painting.