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  (Il Moretto) Moretto Da Brescia  (1498 - 1554)



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Lived/Active: Italy      Known for: religious, full-length portrait, allegorical and mythological painting

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Moretto Brescia is primarily known as (Il Moretto) Moretto Da Brescia

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Alessandro Bonvicino
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Alessandro Bonvicino (1498-1554), "Il Moretto", born in Brescia, Italy in 1498; died at the same place, 1555 (The Lombardy Province in Italy).  He was a pupil of Titian, whose influence can be seen in his work.

Moretto da Brescia (originally Alessandro Bonvicino), was active mainly in his native Brescia and the neighborhood.  He was the leading Brescian painter of his day and had a large practice as a painter of altarpieces and other religious works, the best of which display an impressive gravity and a poetic feeling for nature (St Giustina with a Donor).  However, his portraits, although much less numerous, are considered to be generally of higher quality and of greater importance historically.  It seems likely that he introduced the independent full-length portrait to Italy, for although Vasari credits Titian with this distinction, Moretto's Portrait of a Gentleman of 1526 in the National Gallery, London, antedates any known example by Titian by several years.  He passed on the thoughtful qualities to his pupil Moroni.

Among Moretto's most famous works is the painting of "Saint Justina with a Unicorn and Donor", found in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.  His work is also in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery, London, England, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia, the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary, the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy, among others, as well as in corporate and private collections. 

Moretto was also commissioned to create works pertaining to mythology, and allegorical paintings with a love of textures and the same aesthetics that can also be found in a Da Vinci landscape.  But the majority of his works are religious in theme and present in churches & cathedrals throughout Europe.

Compiled and submitted by Julia Tolomei, a direct descendent of the artist.

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