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found: antonis mor

As a frequent visitor to the Prado in Madrid, I’d seen works by Antonis Mor —known in Spanish as Antonio Moro— for decades. But it wasn’t until the restoration of his portrait of Mary Tudor that I really took notice of these masterpieces.

Born around 1517 in the Netherlands, Antonis Mor got his big break thanks to painting Spanish monarchs & their extended family. His works obviously imitate Titian’s style but in a more ostentatious, direct way… these portraits are meant to impress.

As with all art, we can choose what to focus on: do we admire the painter’s technique? his use of color? his skill in bringing the subject closer to the viewer? The severity captures my attention most… and thinking if Mor’s subjects knew we’d be looking at them 500 years later in a society that they could have never imagined.

Break away from the crowds at El Bosco & explore these portraits in the adjacent room. Maybe some of their regal character will speak to you.

Photography is not permitted inside the Prado. All images above are from Wikimedia Commons.

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