As the leading painter in his native town Brescia, Moretto was highly regarded for his sensitive portraits in particular. The black robe and the biretta identify the figure as a clergyman. It is probably the cleric and papal nuncio Gerolamo Martinengo Cesaresco. Moretto shows him surrounded by books in a studiolo, thus placing the portrait in the pictorial tradition of St Jerome in his study. The running title of the open book, ‘Homilia’, reveals that this is a collection of sermons.