Giovanni Battista Moroni
25 October 2014 – 25 January 2015
Despite being one of the greatest portraitists of 16th-century Italy, this is the first exhibition devoted to Giovanni Battista Moroni in the UK.
Moroni had a gift for capturing the exact likeness of his sitters. His portraits – distinctive for their unprecedented realism and psychological depth – captured the elegant men and women of Italian high society, but also intellectuals, professionals, state officers, clergy and artisans. The meticulous clarity of his work was rarely matched by other artists of the time and was in contrast with the adorned portraiture favoured by his contemporary, Titian.
The display also features Moroni's lesser known religious works, including paintings made for private devotion and altarpieces from the churches of Bergamo which have never exhibited before.
The Tailor is one of Moroni's most highly regarded pieces, celebrated as a masterpiece for over 400 years. A late work, it is the first known portrait of a man undertaking manual labour. While most of the sitters in portraits of this period are dressed in black – the fashion in Spain at the time – the tailor himself is in colourful wear. However, the material that he prepares to cut is the modish shade.