TIZIANO Vecellio
(b. 1490, Pieve di Cadore, d. 1576, Venezia)

Portrait of Tomaso or Vincenzo Mosti

c. 1526
Oil on wood, transferred to canvas, 85 x 66 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

There is an inimitable elegance in the way Titian links the various shades of gray in the garment to those in the background. Gray silk, fur and a lace shirt all become tactile sensations. An inscription which used to be on the back of the portrait identified the figure as Tomaso Mosti. Some authors, however, think it more likely that this is his brother Vincenzo. The reason is that Tomaso was a priest, while Vincenzo, in contrast, was a favourite of Alfonso d'Este at the court of Ferrara.