In these teacher materials, and during the video conference, students will learn about the forms and functions of Italian art from the ancient Etruscans through the Modern era, by looking at a broa
Lorenzo Lotto (Italian, 1480-1556)
oil on canvas, Framed: 135.9 x 128 x 8.6 cm (53 1/2 x 50 3/8 x 3 3/8 in.); Unframed: 108.2 x 100.5 cm (42 9/16 x 39 9/16 in.). Gift of the Hanna Fund 1950.250
The gesture of the elegantly dressed man is a mystery. Is he rising from his chair to address someone or is he pointing to something outside the frame? His right hand rests on a piece of paper (a letter?), while on the table are cloverâ€”a symbol of abundance, good fortune, and happy marriageâ€”and jasmine, associated with purity and love, further emphasized by the roses on the trellis. There may have been a companion portrait of the sitterâ€™s bride, to whom he acknowledges his devotion. Another recent interpretation identifies the sitter as Girolamo Rosati, a high official in Fermo, on Italyâ€™s east coast. The paper may be a design for one of his important architectural projects, to which he may be pointing in the distance. The interrupted moment is a naturalistic touch characteristic of Lotto, quite distinct from the formality of the other Italian Renaissance portraits in the museum's collection. Though this portrait clearly articulates the manâ€™s status, Lotto emphasizes his individuality and interiority as much as a socially constructed identity.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.