Lombard master of the sixteenth century - Giovanni Battista Moroni (Albino 1522 - 1579), workshop
Portrait of notary with letter
Oil on canvas, cm. 81 x 66
In frame 97 x 82
Provenance: Farsetti Prato (09/10/2020) Important Old Sculptures and Paintings from prestigious private clients, from Villa Mansi in Lucca
The portrayal of this painting, whose identity we do not know, illustrates those traits of severity, moral rigor, and austerity typical of sixteenth-century portraiture. His charm aligns with the character and strong temper with which he was skillfully immortalized by the author, filmed as if just after a moment of inattention, while he is catching up on his train of thought.
He wears a suit of incredible majesty, dressed in the fashion of the time, and could be a notary, a solicitor or a wealthy merchant. He wears a red doublet, enriched by a long row of buttons: the sleeves of the dress are of incredible workmanship, padded, wide and full of folds. Above the doublet there is a heavy dark robone lined with mink (fur is an element of great importance in this century's clothing) without sleeves, a typical 15th-16th century surcoat.
He appears seated on a Dante chair, lined in emerald green velvet (furniture alluding to the affirmation of his social rank) slightly in profile, with a severe and authoritarian expression. His left hand holds a manuscript, while his right, with a ring on his little finger in plain sight, rests on his armrest.
The fascinating portrait has high pictorial qualities, distinguished by a photographic observation of the face and details worthy of a great Lombard Renaissance master, based on stylistic characteristics, presumably active between Milan, Bergamo and Brescia.
In fact, the image highlights the 'counter-reformed' severity typical of the '' natural portraiture '' of the painters active in this area in the sixteenth century, no longer bound to the Renaissance vision of ideal beauty. A vision that, in this case, is interrupted by adhering to a realism that includes austerity of purpose and naturalistic force, the result of which are portraits, like the one in question, of great impact and character.
As for the attribution, after having scrupulously investigated its style characteristics, we are inclined to confirm its connection to the workshop of the great portrait painter Giovanni Battista Moroni (Albino 1522 - 1579) from Bergamo. In this regard, see among the portraits by Moroni (c. 1520 - 1578): the 'Portrait of Cardinal Albani' (Bergamo), 'Seated Old Man' (Bergamo), 'Portrait of a Young Man' (Milan, Brera),' Young Gentleman'(Ottawa).
The expressiveness and the skilful lighting direction highlight the quality of the work and confirm the hypothesis attributing to this extraordinary author, whose fame extended beyond the Lombard borders, even reaching Venice, so much so that Titian himself induced the Venetian governors residents of Bergamo to be portrayed by the artist.
Although hardly noticeable in the photos, the artist meticulously rendered the fabric of the dress and fur, or the details of the face and even of the hands, the sharpness of the contours highlighted by the light, as well as the expressive power of the eyes.
Observing the portrait it is easy to note that, despite the author is anchored to a purely Lombard naturalistic conduct, therefore adhering to the manner inherited by authors such as Giovanni Gerolamo Savoldo (1480 - 1540), Alessandro Bonvicino il Moretto (1498 - 1554), Girolamo Romani Romanino (1485 - 1566), wisely manages to look and elaborate on the nearby Venetian models, in particular the examples of Tiziano Vecellio (1488 - 1576) and Jacopo Palma il Vecchio (1480 - 1528), whose suggestions emerge strongly.
However, the painting also turns its gaze to the Nordic and German world, and in particular allows us to capture, albeit remotely, that genius of Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528) or Lucas Cranach the Elder, who we know extended their influence also in Italy. , and precisely in Lombardy and Veneto.
The work is presented in a very good state of conservation. Perfectly clean. Complete with cassette frame, not coeval.
Delevery information :
We take care of and organise the transport of the purchased works, both for Italy and abroad, through professional and insured carriers.
We take great care We personally take care of the packaging, to which we devote a great deal of care: each work is carefully packed, first with arti- cle material, then with a custom-made wooden box.
Should you have the desire to see this or other works in person, we would be happy to welcome you to our gallery in Riva del Garda, Viale Giuseppe Canella 18, we are always open by appointment only.