The first UK exhibition of this unsung genius of Renaissance portraiture.
Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
25 October — 25 January The Sackler Wing, Burlington House £13.50 (without donation £12). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.
Giovanni Battista Moroni was one of the greatest portraitists of 16th-century Italy. Famed for his gift for capturing the exact likeness of his sitters, he created portraits that are as penetrating and powerful now as they were more than 400 years ago. You will be transfixed by their psychological depth and immediacy.
This is the first comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work in the U.K. We have selected not only his remarkable portraits but also his lesser known religious works, which will be shown side by side. Among them will be never-before exhibited altarpieces from the churches of Bergamo and paintings made for private devotion that reflect the new religious ideals of his time.
Moroni’s portraits depict the people of the world and time in which he lived, from elegant men and women of high society shown in glittering dress to members of the middle class engaged in their trade. One such work is The Tailor, as highly praised in its time as it is now (“revolutionary” - Jonathan Jones, The Guardian). What all of his works share is a startling naturalism and vitality, rarely matched by other artists of the period and anticipating the realistic style of Caravaggio and, later, Manet.
Encompassing his entire career, this exhibition is a long overdue celebration of an artist ahead of his time and ripe for rediscovery.
The kind of obscure genius it’s a delight to discover… Moroni anticipated Caravaggio’s revolution, and deserves to be as famous as he is.