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Giovanni Battista Moroni, Portrait of Leonardo Salvagno (?)

Key facts
Full title Portrait of Leonardo Salvagno (?)
Artist Giovanni Battista Moroni
Artist dates 1520/4 - 1579
Date made about 1570-5
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 100.6 × 74.9 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Layard Bequest, 1916
Inventory number NG3124
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Portrait of Leonardo Salvagno (?)
Giovanni Battista Moroni

A soberly dressed man turns to look at us, his arm leaning on a large red book with gilded corner pieces and a central boss. Although the Latinised name ‘Leonardus Salvaneus’ was added to the portrait later, this may be a true record of his identity.

The inscription on the ornate book translates as: ‘in addition the special rights of a citizen of Bergamo’. The book may concern the special rights granted in 1561 to the city of Bergamo by Venice, which ruled Bergamo at that time. The man probably played a part in negotiating Bergamo’s privileges.

The picture is in poor condition. The black paint is particularly damaged and there are residues of old yellowing varnish in many areas. Some of the retouching – where the paint surface has been repaired in the past – has badly discoloured. This is particularly visible in the face, which now appears blotchy.

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