The National Gallery, in partnership with the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, is displaying an exhibition of Lorenzo Lotto’s portrait paintings, the first of its kind in the UK until 10 February 2019.
Lotto was active in the early to mid 16th century and was influenced by other Italian Renaissance painters such as Bellini and Raphael, although he has a distinctive style of his own. Lotto’s paintings are known for their bright, saturated colours, bold shadows and his use of symbolism. Although he was born in Venice and trained there, Lotto worked throughout Italy, so his works were influenced by other Northern Italian styles and his sitters were from a range of different cities. As well as portraits, Lotto, who was very religious, also worked on devotional images and altarpieces, and his later works particularly reflect his spiritualism.
He painted portraits of diverse cross-section of the Italian middle class, including men, women, children, religious and lay people. Lotto used objects alongside his subjects to show their occupation, interests and position in society, making a very personal and intimate portrait of the sitter, giving an insight into their private lives. Lotto’s impeccable attention rendered the features of his subjects and their possessions in immense detail.
The exhibition also includes extracts from Lotto’s accounts, which give a glaimpse into the artist’s own every day life. These accounts are as detailed as his paintings, and describe Lotto’s sitters as well as his own thoughts and feelings.
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
Saturday – Thursday: 10:00 - 18:00
Friday: 10:00 - 21:00