He was also called Santino. He was born at Salò, Italy. His parents traveled away and consigned him at age three to thirteen to his aunt. He then moved to Brescia to live with his mother, who worked in wool looms. He at first practised wood-engraving, but afterwards studied painting under Antonio Dusi of Brescia and then, with Francesco Monti (Bologna). He studied in 1776 at the Accademia Clementina of Bologna. He settled at Brescia in 1773, and in 1810 became professor of drawing in the Art academy of that city. He died in Brescia. Among Cattaneo's pupils are Domenico Vantini, Luigi Basiletti, Antonio Manenti, and Carlo Frigerio. Professor Romualdo Turini of Salò was a pupil and his biographer.
- Altarpiece for parish church of San Vincenzo Diacono in Calcinato.
- Crucifixion of Apostole Peter (1783) altarpiece in presbytery of church of Santi Pietro e Paolo in Verolavecchia.
- Last Supper, canvas in church of San Sebastiano in Pavone.
- Martyrdoms of Saints Andrew and Flavianus for parish church of Sant'Andrea in Pralboino.
- Assumption of the Virgin with Saints Peter and Imerius, altarpiece for parish church of Santi Pietro e Paolo in Offlaga.
- La Riviera thanks the provveditore Marco Soranzo, (1786) for palazzo comunale di Salò
- Deposition (1808), church of Santi Faustino e Giovita, Brescia.
- Madonna and child with Saints Catherine and Angela Merici, (after 1815) for church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Brescia.
- Saints Benedict and Scolastica, Jesus distributes Eucharist and other frescos for Sant'Afra, Brescia.
- Visitation of Mary to St Elisabeth, church of Santa Maria ad Elisabetta, Brescia.
- Bryan, Michael (1886). Robert Edmund Graves, ed. Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, Biographical and Critical (Volume I: A-K). York St. #4, Covent Garden, London; Original from Fogg Library, Digitized May 18, 2007: George Bell and Sons. p. 252.
- Federico Nicoli Cristiani (1807). Della Vita delle pitture di Lattanzio Gambara; Memorie Storiche aggiuntevi brevi notizie intorno a' più celebri ed eccelenti pittori Bresciani. Spinelli e Valgiti, Brescia. pp. 150–151.
- Dizionarietto degli uomini illustri della riviera di Salò, By Giuseppe Brunati, 1837, page 56.
- G. Brunati, page 56.
- Dizionario degli artisti bresciani by Stefano Fenaroli, page 170.
- G. Brunati, page 56.
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