"Lotto, Lorenzo (circa1480-1556)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 27th April 2011
Lorenzo Lotto, Italian painter, was born in Venice in circa 1480 and died in Loreto in 1556. He was a pupil of Giovanni Bellini, but was attracted by the style of Antonello da Messina as well. His first famous works are: Ritratto di giovinetto (Bergamo, Acc.Carrara); Il vescovo Bernardo de'Rossi (pictured) (Naples, Capodimonte); Madonna con san Pietro Martire (Naples, Capodimonte), Sacra conversazione (Roma, Gall.Borghese); San Gerolamo (Paris, Louvre). The pieces dedicated to the religious theme: Assunta (Asolo, Duomo); Madonna e santi (Treviso, Santa Cristina al Tivarone) are different from the classic balance and warmth of colors of Giorgione and Bellini. In 1508 was painted Madonna e santi (Recanti, Pin.Comunale), the sum of the experience of young Lotto. After it he moved to Rome, where together with Bramantino, B.Peruzzi and Sodoma, participated in the decoration of the apartments of Julius II. In the same period were created the following works: Trasfigurazione (Recanti, Pin.Comunale) and Deposizione (151) (Jesi, Pin.).
In 1513 Lotto was called to Bergamo by Alessandro Martinengo Colleoni to create monumental Pala Martinengo, finished in 1516 (Bergamo, San Bartolomeo), which has the plan of Bramante's style, but includes the cultural elements of the Roman, Lombardian, German environment and of Giorgione's style.
Lotto stayed in Bergamo till 1525, creating Madonna e santi (1521) (Bergamo, Santo Spirito); Madonna e santi (1521) (Bergamo, San Berbardino); Commiato di Cristo dalla madre (Berlin, Staatl.Mus.); Nozze mistiche di santa Caterina con Nicolo' Bonghi (1523) (Bergamo, Acc.Carrara); portrait of Lucina Brembati (Bergamo, Acc.Carrara); Trinita' (Bergamo, Sant'Alessandro); Polittico (Ponteranica); Storie di Maria (Bergamo, San Michele al Pozzo Bianco); Storie di Santa Barbara (Trescore, Cappella Suardi); drawings for the choir of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo.
(See below: Gentiluomo con zampino di leone (Vienne, Kunsthistorisches Museum).
After return to Venice in 1525, Lotto created the works of a big painting intensity: Gloria di san Nicola (1529) (Venice, Carmine); Elemosina di Sant'Antonino (1542, Venice, Santi giovanni e Paolo). But in 1554 the artist became an oblate of the church Santa Casa di Loreto, because of the poor material and psychological conditions.
Among his religious works of this period should be noticed: Annunciazione (Recanti, Santa Maria sopra Mercanti); dramatic Crocefissione (Fermo, Monte San Giusto), Pala di Santa Lucia (Jesi, Pin.Comunale); Madonna del Rosario (1541) (Cingoli, San Domenico); Presentazione al tempio, message of death (Loreto, Santa Casa).
At the same period Lotto executed some portraits between Venice, Treviso and Marche: Andrea Odoni (Hampton court); Gentiluomo in nero (Gall.Borghese); Lucrezia (London, Nat.Gall.); Vecchio (Milan, Brera); Balestriere (Rome, Gall.Capitolina).
Hardly noted and not valued in the past, the art of Lotto was revalued by the modern critics starting from B.Berenson, and now recognized as the alternative one to the elevated language of the classicism of the 16th century.