Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Giovanni Battista Moroni

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 10
Giovanni Battista Moroni

by Gaston Sortais


A painter, b. at Bondo, near Albino, in the territory of Bergamo, between 1520 and 1525; d. at Bergamo, in 1578. He was the pupil of Alessandro Bonvicino, called Moretto da Brescia (about 1498-1555), and one of the best imitators of his style. Moroni's work was done chiefly at Bergamo and in the vicinity. He was remarkable as a portrait painter, and as such was not inferior to his master. He has the same sincerity and nobility, but more originality. His portraits are among the most vigorous of the Renaissance; of these we may mention a "Scholar with an open book hefore him" and a "Man in Black" at the Uffizi (Florence); at the Gallery of Bergamo a "Young Man" and a "Woman", of excellent workmanship; at the Brera (Milan) the portrait of Antonio Navigiero, podesta of Bergamo; at the Ambrosiana Library in Milan, a "Man of sickly appearance"; at the National Gallery (London), portrait of a member of the Fenaroli family, "The Tailor", and Canon Londovico Terzi of Bergamo; at the Louvre "An Old man seated holding a book", "of large, firm workmanship, somewhat heavy as in some of Tintoretto's portraits" (E. Muntz); in the Dublin Museum, "A Gentleman and his two children" in the Dresden Gallery, portrait of a man; in the Gallery of Vienna, two portraits of men. In religious pictures, on the other hand, Moroni is inferior to Moretto, especially in drawing and inventiveness, but his colouring, of a clear grayish tone, is not disagreeable. "It is only in his last works that the grey tone becomes monotoneous and soft, together with a rather hard reddish colouring" (J. Buckhardt and and Bode). Worthy of note are the "Coronation of the Virgin", painted for the church of the Trinity at Bergamo; the "Last Judgement" for the parish church of Gorlago, near Bergamo; '"Virgin and Saints" and "St. Jerome" at the Carraga Academy of Bergamo; the "Assumption of the Virgin", the "Virgin surrounded by Saints" (two pictures) at the Brera of Milan; "The Jesuit" (portrait of Ercole Tasso), at Stafford House, the London residence of the Duke of Sutherland.

BLANC, Hist. des peintres de toutes les ecoles (Paris, 1865-77); Ecole venitienne; LUBKE, Gesch. der italienischen Malerei, II (Stuttgart, 1878), 621; DENISON, CHAMPLIN AND PENRKINS, Cyclop. of Painters and Paintings, III (London and New York, 1888); BURCKHARDT AND BONE, Le Cicerone, II, 753; French tr. GERARD (Paris, 1892); MUNTZ, Hist. de l'art pendant la Renaissance, III (London, 1904), s.v.

GASTON SORTAIS