(b. 1791, Venezia, d. 1882, Milano)
Portrait of Alessandro Manzoni1841
Oil on canvas, 118 x 92 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
Hayez, a Venetian, was influenced by the Roman milieu around Canova; he was famous as a painter of historical subjects. His best works are his portraits, in which drawing and colour are skillfully used for penetrating interpretations of his subjects.
Fifteen sittings were required for this portrait of the author of the romantic novel I Promessi Sposi: three for the sketch, ten for the execution and two for retouching. Damaged by a storm in 1874, the painting was restored by the artist.