MORONI, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1525, Albino, d. 1578, Bergamo)
Portrait of Don Gabriel de la Cueva, later Duke of Alburquerque1560
Oil on canvas, 115 x 91 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin
Inevitably influenced by the example of Titian, yet making quite a distinctive contribution to their genre, were the portraits by Giovanni Battista Moroni, a painter working in the town of Bergamo on the western fringe of Venice's mainland empire. One of this finest is the Portrait of Don Gabriel de la Cueva, later Duke of Alburquerque, in which the pose of the Spanish nobleman - soon to become governor of the nearby city of Milan - is lent grandeur by the abstract geometry of the architectural foil behind him. Moroni's handling of paint is thinner and drier than that of Titian, and parts of the costume are rendered with an attention to detail that by this date had become foreign to the pictorial tradition of Venice itself.