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Alessandro Bonvicino, detto il Moretto (Brescia, 1498-1554)
Oil on canvas, cm. 84x75
Genova, Musei di Strada Nuova - Palazzo Rosso, inv. PR 46
From 1874 in the collections by donation of Maria Brignole - Sale De Ferrari, Duchess of Galliera
The Portrait of Alessandro Bonvicino from Brescia, known as Moretto, belongs to the Venetian painting tradition of the 16th century. The artist, originally from the hinterland of the Serenissima, was formed in Venice or Padua, but was active mainly in the city of his birth.
The canvas, dated 1533 and initialled on the left side with the artist’s initials, belongs to the period of the painter’s full expressive maturity and the Greek motto that follows the date, has been translated into "relief of the mind", for the appreciated interest shown by the effigy for the study of nature, to which allude the flowers represented in the foreground at the bottom left.The subject of the portrait, however, has not yet been identified with certainty, considering some the Brescian philosopher Vincenzo Maggi, professor at the University of Padua from 1528 to 1543, and then in Ferrara, and others the Sienese Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1500-1577), Caesarean physician to the emperors Ferdinand and Maximilian II of Austria and author of a famous treatise on botany.