The Moment of Moroni

The catalog of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition “Bellini, Titian, and Lotto: North Italian Paintings from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo” has on its cover, amusingly, a work by Giovanni Battista Moroni. Perhaps the designer of the appealingly small-sized catalog chose the Moroni, a 1567 portrait of a young man with a background of a neutral color, because, more than other pictures in the show, it provided a good space to set forth the lengthy title. But the cover could be saying, editorially, that while Bellini, Titian, and Lotto are the presumed attractions, it is Moroni’s image of a tense young man, with closely cropped hair and beard, that genuinely grips our attention.

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