Skip to main content

Moretto da Brescia, 'Praying Man with a Long Beard', about 1545

Key facts
Full title Praying Man with a Long Beard
Artist Moretto da Brescia
Artist dates about 1498 - 1554
Date made about 1545
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 103.7 × 89.4 cm
Acquisition credit Layard Bequest, 1916
Inventory number NG3095
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Praying Man with a Long Beard
Moretto da Brescia

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.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

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.

Download low-resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo