Skip to main content
Portrait of a Gentleman
Giovanni Battista Moroni
/

With one hand on his helmet, the other on his rapier, this unidentified man looks directly at us. He stands in a partially ruined architectural setting, beside a large broken column on which his helmet rests. A column is an attribute of Fortitude and can also suggest the endurance of ancient values or a family lineage. Moroni may be implying that the sitter shares these virtues.

The very limited colour palette of blue, grey and black, with repeated small details of rusty orange and red, creates a striking visual effect and draws our attention to the sitter’s face and hands. We think that this and Moroni’s A Knight with his Jousting Helmet, also in the National Gallery, are likely to have been painted around the same time, due to the similar cut of the clothes and the men’s beards.

Key facts
Artist Giovanni Battista Moroni
Artist dates 1520/4 - 1579
Full title Portrait of a Gentleman with his Helmet on a Column Shaft
Date made about 1555-6
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 186.2 x 99.9 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1890
Inventory number NG1316
Location in Gallery Room 12
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo