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The portrait is a late work, probably around 1570, and the most famous of Moroni's portraits; it was already celebrated in the 17th century, when it was in the Grimani collection in Venice.

The colourful costume of the tailor is contrasted with the black material marked with chalk lines that he prepares to cut. Most of the sitters in Moroni's later portraits are dressed in black in the Spanish fashion that persisted into the following century. The tailor's head, lit from above to the left, dominates the painting, the eyes, as in the majority of Moroni's portraits, looking directly at the spectator with shrewd appraisal.

Details

  • Title: The Tailor ('Il Tagliapanni')
  • Creator: Giovanni Battista Moroni
  • Date Created: 1565-70
  • Physical Dimensions: 99.5 x 77 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • School: Italian (Bergamo)
  • More Info: Explore the National Gallery’s paintings online
  • Inventory number: NG697
  • Artist Dates: 1520/4 - 1579
  • Artist Biography: Moroni is one of the most famous North Italian portrait specialists of the 16th century. He was a native of Albino, near Bergamo. In his early years he worked in Brescia and at Trent (1551-2). Later altarpieces and portraits were painted for clients in and around Bergamo and Albino, where he settled in 1561. His portraits have great psychological penetration, which owes less to his master and more to the Venetian tradition of portraiture as it had been evolved by Giorgione and Titian.
  • Acquisition Credit: Bought, 1862

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