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Antonis Van Dashort Mor
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Commonly called ANTONIO MORO, or ANTHONIS MORE, a Dutch painter, b. at Utrecht in 1519; d. at Antwerp, between 1576 and 1578. Of his early life we only know that his artistic education was commenced under Jan van Scorel, and his earliest work is probably the portrait at Stockholm, dated 1538. Recent investigations would indicate that the group of knights of St. John, at Utrecht, supposed to have been painted about 1541, and a picture of two pilgrims at Berlin, dated 1544, together with the portrait of a woman unknown, in the Lille gallery, were probably among his earliest works, although their authenticity has not been proven. In 1547, he was received as a member of the Venerable Guild of St. Luke at Antwerp, and shortly afterwards (about 1548) he attracted the attention of Cardinal Granvelle, Bishop of Arras, who became his steady patron, and presented him to the Emperor Charles V . Of the portraits excuted during the commencement of his Granvella career, two are especially notable: of the bishop himself in the imperial gallery at Vienna, and of the Duke of Alba, which now belongs to the Hispanic Society of New York. He probably visited Italy first in 1550, for we hear of him in Rome, where he copied some works by Titian, notably the "Danae". He was sent by Queen Mary of Hungary to Portugal, doubtless his first visit to that country, and among its notable results are a portrait of the Infanta Maria and one of Queen Catharine of Portugal, both in the Prado, and those of King John III and his wife Catherine, preserved at Lisbon. After this he returned to Madrid, where he painted the portrait of Maximilian of Bohemia ; he was in Rome again in 1552. It has been gravely suggested, but on insufficient evidence, that one of the masterpieces of the Prado gallery, the portrait of the unknown young Cardinal, hitherto attributed to Rafael, and regarded as one of his noblest works, should be credited to Mor. From Rome, he went to Genoa, and thence to Madrid. In 1553 he was sent to England, where he painted the portrait of Mary Tudor, perhaps one of his very noblest works; and in all probability the portraits of Sir Henry Sidney, and of Ambassador Simon Renard. That of Renard's wife was not painted until three years later. To this period should be attributed the miniature of Mary Tudor in the Duke of Buccleuch's collection, two portraits of Elizabeth at the age of twenty-one, one of which once belonged to Dr. Propert, and another even more notable, of Roger Ascham, now in the collection of Mr. Pierpont Morgan. This was at one time the property of Ascham's college, and later, of the Marquess of Hastings.
At about this time Mor married, but we know little of his wife, save that her name was Metgen, and she is supposed to have been a widow. He became a man of large means, acquired property, and was known as Moro van Dashorst when residing in Utrecht. He had one son, Philip, afterwards a canon, and two daughters. At the end of 1554, he was back in Holland, where he painted a portrait of William of Orange, and other notable works. A little later he executed his own portrait, now in the Uffizi Gallery, one of his wife, now in the Prado, a portrait of a knight of St. James at Budapest, one of Alexander Farnese at Parma, the portrait of an unknown man in Verona, and a very extraordinary religious picture of the Resurrection, now at Nimwegen in a private collection. His portrait of Jean Le Cocq [Gallus], one of his wife, and that called, Don Carlos, in the gallery at Cassel, those of the Duchess de Feria (?), and of a widow, in the Prado, of himself in Lord Spencer's collection, and of Campaña, the Brussels painter, in the Basle gallery, are of a subsequent period. Several very important works, executed towards the close his life are, Elizabeth Queen of Spain, in the Bischoffs-heim collection (London), Jacopo da Trezzo and three other fine portraits, in the Stuers gallery (Paris), and the famous portrait of his own master, Jan van Scorel, belonging to the Society of Antiquaries (London). Other noted works are those representing a Professor of the University of Oxford in the Brunswick Gallery, and the very famous portraits of Sir Thomas and Lady Gresham, at one time at Strawberry Hill, now in the Hermitage collection (St. Petersburg). After the disgrace of Cardinal Granvelle, Mor remained in Spain for a while, and the following portraits belong to this period of his life : The Jeweller, in the gallery of the The Hague, Sir Henry Lee, in Lord Dillon's collection, Antonio del Rio, his sons, and his wife, in the Louvre, the Duke of Alba, at Brussls, Ferdinand of Toledo, at Vienna, and several others of unknown people. His last portrait appears to be that of "Goltzius", in the Brussels gallery.
The last document that refers to him was one issued at Antwerp, in 1573, and we obtain the of his death from certain documents still extant in the church of Notre Dame in that city. The many references to him and the numerous essays on his career, have been summed up by Henry Hymans in his memoir of Mor (Brussels, 1910), and to this invaluable work all students must now be referred.
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