Netherlandish, 1519 - 1576
Mor van Dashorst, Antonis; Mor, Anthonis; Moro, Antonio
Antonis Mor van Dashorst, frequently referred to by the Spanish form of his name, Antonio Moro, was a native of Utrecht. The evidence concerning Mor's birth and death dates is ambiguous. A document dated 17 April 1576 mentioning his son in the role of heir to his estate has recently been interpreted to mean that Antonis had died by this date. The early biographers Van Mander and Buchelius state that he died a year before the massacre called the Spanish Fury (4 November 1576), but give different accounts of his age at death, fifty-six or fifty-nine. His birthdate has therefore been calculated as c. 1516/1520.
Mor was a pupil of Jan van Scorel in Utrecht. In 1547 he registered as a master with the guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp. By 1549 he was painter to Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, bishop of Arras and later Cardinal and a key figure in the Habsburg court. Mor's next known works are the portraits of Granvelle and of the Duke of Alba, both dated 1549. They show Mor already in command of the type of formal state portraiture that he was to practice at several European courts. Mor may have accompanied Granvelle to the imperial Diet in Augsburg in 1548 when Titian was also in Augsburg working for Charles V, which would account for the influence of Titian's portrait types on these early works. Mor's work for Granvelle evidently recommended him to Prince Philip of Spain, the future Philip II, and to his family, for in the next few years he traveled to Spain, Portugal, and Italy painting members of the Habsburg family. His portrait of Queen Mary of England, signed and dated 1554, was presumably painted in England in connection with her marriage to Prince Philip that year.
Mor seems to have lived primarily in Utrecht, where he owned property, but to have divided his time between that city and Antwerp and Brussels. Toward the end of his life he moved his household from Utrecht to Antwerp. The date of this move is unclear; however, he seems to have been settled in Antwerp by 1573.
[Hand, John Oliver, and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1986: 202.]