Biography of Antonio Moro (1517-1576)

Dutch painter, born in Utrecht in 1517 and died in Antwerp in 1576. His real name was Anthony Moor van Dashorst, although it is better known as Antonio Moro or Moor. His work focused exclusively on the portrait. In its early days the influence of Jan van Scorel, evident in his work of 1544 suffered two clergy of Utrecht. The knowledge of the work of Titian, which must have personal contacts in the diet Augusta, his influence resulted in a portraiture of courtly type, although it maintained its psychological penetration and the manifestation of moods was decisive.

Portrait of two canons. Antonio Moro. Netherlands.

In 1550 he/she began a trip to Italy that lasted one year, there he/she met the work of Brozino and Giovan Battista Moroni. He/She subsequently stayed in Portugal and in Spain as Carlos V and Felipe II court painter. In 1554 he/she was in England, on the occasion of the wedding of Felipe II and María Tudor. Except for one season, in 1559, in which he/she returned to Spain, the rest of his life was spent in Antwerp, after falling into disgrace before the King and spend some time in Brussels with the Duke of Alba.

The work of Moro has left excellent examples of official portraits of great insight psychological and fisonomica, which combines figures for medium-bodied with neutral backgrounds and elements that indicate the range of each. Among his best works are remembered Christ risen between San Pedro and San Pablo, and Maximiliano de Austria portraits, the jester Pejeron and María Tudor, preserved in the Museum of the Prado in Madrid; Guillermo de Orange, Don Carlos and the couple Lacocq in Kassel; Henri reads in the National Gallery, London and Golzius in Brussels.

Portrait of María Tudor

maría Tudor, Queen of England. Antonio Moro. Museo del Prado. Madrid.

The work is preserved in the Museum of the Prado in Madrid. It was carried out during the stay of Antonio Moro in England, on the occasion of the Royal Wedding between Felipe II and María Tudor. It's a capital work within the portraiture of its author. Its features are the economy of means with which Moro manages to express the dignity and firmness of the monarchy, which is perfectly compatible with the friendly and resolute character and, to some extent, cruel to the Queen. The porte monumental figure derived from Rafael Italian models, Piombo and especially by Titian, which combines with the taste of Flemish painting of detail and the qualities of things, visible in the thoroughness employed in the decoration of the armchair, jewels, or almost touch rose, symbol of the Tudor softness. Its form of representation will leave a deep mark on Spanish portraiture that, up to the first third of the 17TH century, it will inspire in their models, followed by Sánchez Coello and Pantoja de la Cruz. This portrait, commissioned by the Emperor Carlos V, was very much to his taste, keeping it even in his retirement from Yuste, where enter to form part of the Royal Collections.

Jester Pejeron

The work is preserved in the Museo del Prado. It is the portrait of one of the grotesque characters that were in the Spanish Court. This custom of the Spaniards was surprising to foreign visitors and Moro will reflected it in his painting. It is a work of great significance for the Spanish painting, since it is the first time that it represents one of these characters, and will create a taste for this type of work, whose best representative will be Velázquez.


Czech CREMADES, f.: Painting and sculpture of the Renaissance in Spain, 1450-1600. Madrid, Cátedra, 1983.

HENNESSY, J.P.: The portrait in the Renaissance, Torrejón de Ardoz, Akal, 1985.

The portrait in the Prado Museum, Madird, Anaya, 1994.