Abbess Lucretius Alyardi Vertov - Giovanni Battista Moroni. 91.4x68.6
Moroni, known for the power of his naturalism, is considered one of the most skilled portrait painters of Cinquecento. Far from the courtly manner of Titian, the artist from Bergamo recreates human nature from a new perspective, original and natural. His customers, most of them people belonging to the prosperous class of the Lombard province, are depicted in their usual concrete environment of everyday life. Images endowed with deep humanity are artistically conveyed by the artist through their physical appearance and psychology of behavior.
Abbess depicted on a gray background, which emphasizes the monumentality of her figure and gives the whole composition a certain severity. The muffled ash tones, however, become brighter behind the woman's back, focusing attention on the gray-haired head in the veil of delicate work. Despite the artificiality of the highlighted parapet with an elegant inscription in Latin, the canvas is moving away from the strict style of the official portrait: the face of the abbess, bearing the imprint of ruthless time, does not reflect a shadow of arrogance or alienation. Her focused look and a hint of a slight smile give a feeling of sincerity and truthfulness.