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Praying Man with a Long Beard
Moretto da Brescia
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This man may be a member of the important Averoldi family from Brescia, who once owned the portrait. He wears a soft red wool tunic and coat or cloak lined with fox fur.

It is very unusual for a three-quarter-length portrait at this date to have a background consisting entirely of sky. The man’s pose – kneeling with his hands joined in prayer – suggests that the painting was once part of a larger picture or ensemble. The canvas has been cut down at both sides and the top.

The light source is from the right, which is also unusual and suggests the painting was made for a specific location. It may have been designed to hang on the side wall of a chapel, or perhaps near a religious image towards which the sitter directs his prayers.

Key facts
Artist Moretto da Brescia
Artist dates about 1498 - 1554
Full title Praying Man with a Long Beard
Date made about 1545
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 103.7 x 89.4 cm
Acquisition credit Layard Bequest, 1916
Inventory number NG3095
Location in Gallery Room 2
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