The Easel

16th April 2019

Renaissance Man: Giovanni Battista Moroni

Moroni was a big talent in a small town. The era’s famous names – Titian, Bronzino – competed for clients in glamourous Venice. Moroni enjoyed a quieter regional market where he could get away with painting what he saw, rather than glossy fictions. His naturalistic portraits, not especially celebrated at the time, now look like a “remarkable achievement.” A video (4 min) is here.

Talent and Tragedy

Urban turmoil in Germany and Austria led artists to seek inspiration from within. Then, the horrors of WW1 created a new imperative – to objectively depict the crumbing Weimar republic. The self-portraits from these two periods are among the most memorable of 20th century art, from introspective Schiele to Beckmann’s dark realism. Unsettled faces, as far as the eye can see.