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He initially trained with Scarsellino in Ferrara, then spent some time in Bologna, where he was first a pupil of Ippolito Scarsellino, and then may have worked under Reni. After the death of his father, he returned to Ferrara. He is described as prone to carrying a sword, hunting, and brawls. He was so quarrelsome and turbulent a disposition that he passed the greater portion of his life in exile or in disgrace. After injuring a soldier, Cattaneo was forced to seek refuge to a monastery (San Francesco) where he was employed, in painting frescoes.
Among his works are paintings of the passion, an Ecce Homo and a Flagellation (1624), in the lateral altar of the chapel of the Crucifix of the church of San Giorgio, Ferrara, painted after an earthquake afflicted the town. He painted a St. Matthew destroys the idols for the church of Santo Spirito; a Prayer in the garden of Gesthemane for the chorus of the church of San Benedetto; a St. Louis rejecting the Ducal crown initially for the Gesu, later in the church San Stefano. He painted an Annunciation for the church of Santo Spirito and Christ praying on the Mount for the church of San Benedetto.
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