Alessandro Vittoria, Bust of Giulio Contarini
Acquired by the National Gallery of Canada
From the Hohenzollern family and formerly in their legendary castle, Sigmaringen, this was thought to be a workshop copy when it appeared in a junk sale outside of Stuttgart in 2000. Butterfield's research showed that this bust was an original work by the great Venetian portraitist Vittoria. In the eighteenth century the statue was lovingly studied by Giambattista Tiepolo, who made dozens of drawings after it. The Hohenzollern acquired it on the advice of Wilhelm von Bode, who was the director of the Berlin Museum and the inventor of the study of Renaissance sculpture. It is the only fully autograph portrait known by Vittoria in North America.