Abbess Lucrezia Agliardi Vertova (1490?–1558)

Artist: Giovanni Battista Moroni (Italian, Albino, no later than 1524–1578 Albino)

Date: 1557

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 36 x 27 in. (91.4 x 68.6 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915

Accession Number: 30.95.255


As the Latin inscription tells us, Abbess Lucrezia Agliardi Vertova founded the Carmelite convent of Saint Anne at Albino, outside Bergamo. This remarkably unidealized portrait of the widowed abbess hung there for centuries. Moroni was so famous for the naturalism of his portraits that the Venetian artist Titian singled him out for that quality, and his paintings were an important ingredient in the training that Caravaggio received while he lived in Lombardy.