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Giovanni Battista Moroni, Canon Ludovico di Terzi

Key facts
Full title Canon Ludovico di Terzi
Artist Giovanni Battista Moroni
Artist dates 1520/4 - 1579
Date made about 1559-60
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 101.5 × 82.7 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1876
Inventory number NG1024
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Canon Ludovico di Terzi
Giovanni Battista Moroni

This portrait is unusual among Moroni’s works in that the sitter doesn‘t look out at us but gazes to the right, apparently lost in thought. He is identified by the letter he holds (a common device in Moroni’s portraits and others of the time), addressed to him as: ’The most reverend gentleman, Ludovico di Terzi, Canon of Bergamo [Cathedral] and Apostolic Protonotary, my most esteemed Lord ~ [from] Bergamo.' His black three-cornered cap is of a type worn by churchmen and his purse suggests his fiscal responsibilities.

Ludovico Terzi studied law, probably at Padua, between 1537 and 1540. He may be the same Ludovico Terzi referred to as a city councillor in Bergamo in 1549 and 1551. He became an apostolic protonotary at an unknown date, and is recorded as a canon of Bergamo cathedral between 1539 and 1582; he died the following year. He seems about 40 here, which suggests the portrait was painted around 1560.

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