Gallery of prints for sale

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Giovanni Cattini’s engraving, “An Old Man Leaning on a Staff”, 1743, after Giovanni Battista Piazzetta

Giovanni Cattini (aka Joannes Cattini) (c1715–c1804)

“An Old Man Leaning on a Staff” (MET title) (aka “Vecchio Che Si Appoggia a Un Bastone”), 1743, plate 5 from the series of fifteen head studies of character and expression (viz. a frontispiece and fourteen numbered plates), “Icones ad Vivum Expressae” (Images taken from life), after Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (aka Giambattista Piazzetta) (1682–1754), published in Venice by Giovanni Battista Pasquali (fl. 1742–c1763) in 1754 when the plate was numbered. I understand that Cattini collaborated with Marco Alvise Pitteri (1702–1786) to translate into engravings exemplary works in Piazzetta’s oeuvre with the plan that Pitteri would reproduce Piazzetta’s paintings and drawings of holy figures (“immagini sacre”) while Cattini would focus on images of everyday folk (“le profane”) (see

Engraving on laid paper trimmed along the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (support sheet) 54 x 42.2 cm; (sheet) 44.8 x 34 cm; (interior image borderline) 38.5 x 31.5 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Jo. Bapta Piazzetta delineavit.”; (centre) “Comiti Antonio Abbati Conti Patricio Veneto/ In humillimum observantiæ signum D.D.D./ V.”; (right) “Joannes Cattini Sculptor Venetus.”

Wiel 1996, 46.74 (Maria Agnese Chiari Moretto Wiel 1996, “L'eredità di Piazzetta. Volti e figure nell'incisione del settecento”, Venice, Il Cardo, cat. no. 74, p. 46, ill).

The British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art offer descriptions of this print:;   

Condition: a richly inked and well-printed impression with a margin around the image borderline and laid onto a sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper providing support and wide margins. There is a closed centre tear and a minor nick (in the background at right near the figure’s wrist), otherwise the sheet is in a remarkably good condition for its large size and age.

I am selling this large engraving executed with great skill and sensitivity—from a personal standpoint, I’m amazed how the all the subtle surface contours of the face have been portrayed within a narrow tonal range so that there is strong contrast with the startling white of the figure’s shirt—for the total cost of AU$522 (currently US$328.29/EUR337.35/GBP298.43 the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this masterpiece of engraving—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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