MORETTO da Brescia
(b. ca. 1498, Brescia, d. 1554, Brescia)
Portrait of Tullia d'Aragona as Salomec. 1537
Oil on panel, 56 x 39 cm
Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, Brescia
Tullia d'Aragona (c. 1510-1556) was a celebrated 16th century Venetian courtesan, author and philosopher. Her life typified well the contradiction-laden customs of the Renaissance era. In the nineteenth century the figure in this painting was identified alternatively as either Tullia or Herodias. Eventually it was realized that the picture could portray a contemporary of the painter in the guise of somebody else. The interpretation of the inscription led to the conclusion that the figure was more likely to be Salome, Herodias's daughter.