The sitter is probably Fortunato Martinengo Cesaresco, a scholarly nobleman of Brescia. The painting may date from 1542 when he married. Rare ancient coins and the bronze foot suggest the interests of a scholarly collector and were also fit subjects for melancholy reflection. 'Alas, I desire too much' is written in Greek upon his cap badge.


  • Title: Portrait of a Young Man
  • Creator: Moretto da Brescia
  • Date Created: about 1540-5
  • Physical Dimensions: 114 x 94.4 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • School: Italian (Brescian)
  • More Info: Explore the National Gallery’s paintings online
  • Inventory number: NG299
  • Full Title: Portrait of Count Fortunato Martinengo Cesaresco (?)
  • Artist Dates: about 1498 - 1554
  • Artist Biography: Alessandro Bonvicino (called Moretto) was, with Romanino, the leading painter of Brescia in the early 16th century, when the town became part of the Venetian empire. Moretto's work was strongly influenced by Giorgione and Titian, and he may have trained in Titian's studio, though he retained much of the naturalism associated with painting in Lombardy in the 16th century. The majority of Moretto's paintings are large-scale canvases painted for religious foundations in and around Brescia. Portraits by him are rarer, though he excelled in portraiture, passing on his skills to his most famous pupil, Moroni.
  • Acquisition Credit: Bought, 1858

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