Art e Dossier

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Art History

Lotto Lorenzo: biography

In all likelihood, Lorenzo Lotto’s training took place in his native city, perhaps in the workshop of Alvise Vivarini. Between 1503 and 1504 he was on record – for the first time – as a painter in Treviso. There he enjoyed the protection of the bishop, Bernardo de’ Rossi, whose portrait he painted. The piece already revealed his personal style that was distant from the naturalism of Giorgione and the young Titian who were already reigning supreme in Venice. His style was dedicated rather to a faithful study of reality, with a typically Northern imprint. In 1506 he moved to Recanati where he painted the polyptych for the church of San Domenico. Here, he inserted bony figures enlivened by unusual gestures, and struck by a light that created strong contrasts in a traditional architectural setting. In 1508 he was summoned to Rome to decorate one of the rooms in the Vatican, but he did not meet with the pope’s favor and was replaced after a short time. Since he did not receive any other commissions he returned to Recanati where he painted the Transfiguration for Santa Maria di Castelnuovo and, between 1511 and 1512, a Deposition of Christ for the church of San Floriano a Jesi. In 1513 he was working in Bergamo where he painted a masterpiece, the Martinengo Altarpiece. The decade he spent in Bergamo was one of the happiest and busiest of his of his life. He made other altarpieces for the churches of San Bernardino and Santo Spirito (1521), devotional panels with a high spiritual content such as Christ Taking Leave of His Mother as well as many portraits that aroused the enthusiasm of the local clientele, up to the famous drawings for the wood inlays for the cathedral choir. In 1524 he painted the fresco of Christ and the Scenes from the Lives of Saint Barbara and Saint Bridget in the Suardi oratory at Trescore near Bergamo and then the Scenes from the Life of the Virgin in the church of San Michele al Pozzo Bianco in the city. In 1525 he was again in Venice where he received the commission to paint the Alms of St. Anthony for the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo that he actually did only in 1542. He also painted St. Nicholas in Glory With Saints John the Baptist and Lucy for the church of Santa Maria dei Carmini as well as an innovative portrait of Andrea Odoni (1527). He made frequent trips to the Marches region where he painted many works such as the Annunciation of Recanati that is famous for the familiar and spontaneous interpretation of the subject. In 1549 he moved to Ancona where he painted the Assumption in the convent of San Francesco alle Scale. In 1552 he entered the Santa Casa di Loreto; two years later he joined the religious community as an oblate – and he remained in the monastery until he died.

The works