Lorenzo Lotto was an Italian artist working in Italy. He lived from 1480 to 1555. During his long and productive life he painted numerous religious scenes, altarpieces and saintly gatherings. He also painted in numerous locations across northern Italy, including Venice, Bergamo, Asolo and Treviso. Later he worked in Le Marche, including Jesi, Recanati and Cingoli. He was industrious and left behind a vast catalogue of work. I’ve written about his life and work here: Lorenzo Lotto – artist
He famously tried his hand at painting portraits (they say he did this in an attempt to rival Titian). The portrait of wealthy merchant Andrea Odoni (below) is a perfect example.
Odoni was a Venetian merchant – not a nobleman – traders and merchants were known as cittadini and were often very influential and important to the city of Venice. In the portrait Lotto paints Odoni surrounded by classical sculptures implying he is a man of taste and learning. He probably wasn’t! Although he was almost certainly one of the risk-taking traders who brought tremendous wealth to the city of Venice.
Lorenzo Lotto was a hugely talented and competent painter. his work can be found in the most respected museums in Europe including Madrid, Paris and London. The fact that the Odoni portrait is on display in the ‘Masterpieces’ exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, London in November, 2021 confirms Lotto’s place in the artists pantheon today.
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