I am utterly captivated by the paintings of Giovanni Battista Moroni. A Northern Italian portraitist working in the first half of the sixteenth century, he was commissioned by the local nobility to immortalise them but he also painted more ordinary subjects such as this tailor which can be seen in the National Gallery in london. I have a postcard of this tailor pinned above my desk; he looks out sideways, questioning, one hand clasped around his shears the other holding a length of cloth, poised, about to cut, but interrupted by the viewer in this moment in time. I was so drawn to this man that he became the starting point for the characterisation of the loyal Dr Huicke in Queen's Gambit and it was through this image too, that I discovered the rest of Moroni's work. I am no art expert but for me there is something about his portraits, more than any other from the period, except perhaps Holbien's court drawings, that transcends time, the faces seem so full of life, the eyes thoughtful, as if time has collapsed and that person is truly a living individual, full of contradictions, sharing the room with you, breathing the same air. Seek moroni out, I urge you...
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