Alessandro Bonvicino, better known as “Il Moretto da Brescia,” died on 22 December 1554.

By Alexis Culotta

Alessandro Bonvicino, better known as “Il Moretto da Brescia,” died on 22 December 1554. Little is known about Moretto’s early life. He was born in Rovato in 1498, yet the means by which he acquired his moniker, “Il Moretto,” which translates to “The Little Moor,” is undocumented. He most likely trained under Floriano Ferramola or Vincenzo Foppa, both of whom were active in the environs of Brescia in the early years of the 16th century. Apparent alongside this tutelage is that Moretto also gleaned a great deal from Venetian contemporaries, among them Titian, whose style is echoed in Moretto’s compositions. 

At the zenith of his career, Moretto was considered one of the most acclaimed painters working in Brescia. Some of his more important Brescia commissions include a collaborative project with Lorenzo Lotto in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore; a composition entitled Five Virgin Martyrs for the Church of San Clemente; and a version of Saint Nicholas of Bari Presenting Two Children to the Virgin first installed in the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli.


Saint Justina with a Unicorn, c. 1530-1534. Oil on panel. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria. 

Portrait of a Young Man (Count Fortunate Martinengo Cesaresco) , c. 1540-1545. National Gallery, London. 

The Holy Family with Saint Anthony of Padua, 1522-1526. Oil on panel. Private collection. 

Allegory of Faith, c. 1540 .Oil on panel. The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg. 

The Entombment, 1554. Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Saint Nicholas of Bari Presenting Two Children to the Virgin, 1539.  

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