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Moretto da Brescia: 'Praying Man with a Long Beard'

A man is shown at prayer; he has tentatively been identified as a member of the Averoldi family on the basis of the picture's provenance from this important Brescian family.

The function of the picture remains unclear. It may be a memorial for a family burial chapel. The praying attitude suggests that this painting was part of a larger canvas or ensemble. It was perhaps a donor's portrait in an altarpiece, although the direction of the eyes - looking towards the spectator - would be unusual in this context.

A copy showing a composition including a table and a crucifix may record its original appearance, but the additions might be those of the copyist.


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