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Moroni, Giambattista

MORONI, GIAMBATTISTA (c. 1510-1578), Italian portraitpainter of the Venetian school, was born at Albino near Bergamo about 1510 (or perhaps a few years later), and became a pupil of Bonvicino named II Moretto. Bsyond the record of his works very few particulars regarding him have reached us. Titian, under whom also Moroni, while still very young, is said to have studied (but this appears hardly probable), had at any rate a high opinion of his powers: he said that Moroni made his portraits " living " or ' actual " (veri}. In truthful and animated portraiture Moroni ranks near Titian himself. His portraits do not indeed attain to a majestic monumental character; but they are full of straightforward life and individuality, with genuine unforced choice of attitude, and excellent texture and arrangement of draperies. There is a certain tendency to a violet-tint in the flesh, and the drawing and action of the hands are not first-rate. The earliest inscribed date discovered for any of his works is 1553. As leading samples may be mentioned in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence the " Nobleman pointing to a Flame," inscribed " Et quid volo nisi ut ardeat ? " ; in the National Gallery, London, the portraits of a Tailor, a member of the Fenaroli family, Canon Ludovico de' Terzi, and others; in the Berlin Gallery, his own portrait; and in Stafford House, the seated half-figure of the Jesuit Ercole Tasso, currently termed " Titian's Schoolmaster " not as indicating any real connexion between the sitter and Titian, but only the consummate excellence of the work. Besides his portraits, Moroni painted, from youth to his latest days, the ordinary round of sacred compositions; but in these he falls below his master II Moretto. One of the best is the " Coronation of the Virgin," in S. Alessandro della Croce, Bergamo; also in the cathedral of Verona, " SS Peter and Paul," and in the Brera of Milan, the " Assumption of the Virgin." Moroni was engaged upon a " Last Judgment," in the church of Corlago, when he died on the sth of February 1578. (W. M. R.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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