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New Lorenzo Lotto show opens at the Scuderie! PDF Print E-mail
Mar 07, 2011 at 06:45 PM

The Scuderie del Quirinale (the musem across the street from the Quirinale Palace in Rome)) last week inaugurated a major monographic show of some of the most important works of the High Renaissance painter Lorenzo Lotto. The exhibition, which will last until June 11, includes 56 canvases illustrating the painter's work - religious and non. The exhibit is divided into two sections. The first floor hosts around 13 or 14 altarpieces, four of which from Lombardy and four from the Marche. The second section on the upper floor features a selection of Lotto's portraits and depictions of religious figures, such as his famous Susanna and the Elders (1517), on loan from the Uffizi in Florence, from the Veneto and Lombardy regions and from major world museums.



Born 1480 in Venice, where he could not but be influenced by major painters of the day such as Giorgione, Giovanni Bellini and Palma il Vecchio, Lorenzo Lotto is a late Renaissance Italian painter who today is well known for paintings of religious subjects but also for his perceptive portraits which , some experts say, make him a precursor of the Mannerist painters of the next century. As a very young man, he worked in the Treviso area of the Veneto region, but spent the rest of his life travelling back and forth among several Italian regions - the Veneto, the Marche (pronounced Mar-kay) and Lombardy -- that is wherever he could find work. The last years of his life (he died in 1556) were spent in a small city in the Marche called Loreto.

In 1509, the 30-year old painter was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II to decorate some rooms of the Vatican and where he had contact with other illustrious artists of the era such as Bramante, Michelangelo and above all Raffaello. After leaving Rome, Lotto moved to the central Italian Marche region, then governed by the Vatican, where in 1508 he had begun work on the six-panel polyptych altar piece for the church of S. Domenico. In 1511 he painted an "Entombment" for a religious order in nearby Jesi, and did a much-admired Transfiguration as well as a fresco of St Vincent Ferrer for the church of San Domenico.

ImageFrom 1513 and for several years on, he spent most of his time in Lombardy, in the city of Bergamo where wealthy merchants, professionals and aristocrats were only too happy to commission his to do the insightful portraits that allowed him to develop a rich colour technique to perfect his draughtsmanship. His next paintings were for the most part wall paintings, such as the frescoes he did in 1524 on the livesof the saints in the Suardi chapel in Trescore (near Bergamo). In them, he depicts detiled scenes of everyday life. In 1524, he also painted the cartoons with Old Testament stories as models for the intarsia panels for the choir stalls of the church of S Maria Maggiore in Bergamo.

During the same preiod he produced more than twenty private with religious subjects but to which he added a surplus of emotion.. He did a monumental altarpiece  in the Dominican church of S Stefano in Bergamo and then went on to decorate the churches of S Bernardino and S Alessandro in Colonna with frescoes and distemper paintings. He would finish five more altarpieces between 1521 and 1523.

Subsequently, Lotto returned to the Veneto where he set up a workshop and worked on many commissions, including additional altarpieces for churches in the Marches and another one for the church S Maria Assunta in Celano (near Bergamo). Yet another altarpiece was for the Venetian church of S Maria dei Carmini, portraying St. Nicholas of Bari in Glory. Later, in Venice, then a thriving metropolis, he received many orders for private paintings, including ten portraits, including the well-known Portrait of a Young Man and the portrait of Andrea Odoni But in Venice he was overshadowed by his rival Titian, who dominated the artistic scene.

ImageIn 1532, he returned to Treviso, then moved back to the Marche were he spent about seven years, then returning again to Venice in 1540. He moved again to Treviso in 1542 and back to Venice in 1545. Finally he went back to Ancona in 1549. At the end of his life, Lotto met with increasing difficulties to earn a living. Furthermore, in 1550 one of his works had an unsuccessful auction in Ancona. As recorded in his personal account book, this deeply disillusioned him. As he had always been a deeply religious man, in 1552 he decided to become a lay brother at the the Holy Sanctuary at Loreto. During that time he decorated the basilica of S Maria and painted a Presentation in the Temple for the Palazzo Apostolico in Loreto. He died in 1556 and was buried, at his request, in a Dominican habit.

Lotto is less well-known than many other Italian painters, possibly because many of his major works are in lesser known churches or in provincial museums. However, thanks to art historian Bernard Berenson, he was rediscovered and acclaimed as a master at the end of the 19th century. Since then, several major exhibitions have been dedicated to Lorenzo Lotto, such as the exhibition in Venice in 1953 and recently Lorenzo Lotto: Rediscovered Master of the Renaissance in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (November 1997-March 1998).

The Lotto exhibit marks the conclusion of a trilogy of exhibits exploring the significance of Venetian painters, starting with Antonello da Messina in 2006 and Giovanni Bellini in 2008. According to the show's curator, Lotto represents the synthesis of these two painters, reaching a level of naturalism and realism that would set an example for all future painters.

Lorenzo Lotto
March 2 / June 11, 2011
Scuderie del Quirinale

Mondays to Thursdays 10:00a.m. to 8:00 pm
Fridays and Saturdays 10:00a.m. to 10:30p.m.

Full price € 10,00

Buy tickets on line

You can book on line at 0639967500 from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. but this seems to be only for Italian speakers

single € 4,00*
double € 6,00*

Information (in Italian)
Tel. 06 39967500



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