The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 18, 2018

Portrait of a Man, possibly Girolamo Rosati, 1533-1534

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 clover-a symbol of abundance, good fortune, and happy marriage-and jasmine, associated with purity and love, further emphasized by the roses on the trellis. There may have been a companion portrait of the sitter’s bride, to whom he acknowledges his devotion.

Another recent interpretation identifies the sitter as Girolamo Rosati, a high official in Fermo, on Italy’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 man’s status, Lotto emphasizes his individuality and interiority as much as a socially constructed identity.

Signed lower right: ".L. Lotus 15[...]"

Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, 1933-1939 (lent by Bruikleen von Ofenheim).
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 1934: "italiaansche Kunst in Nederlandsche bezit," cat. no. 197, p. 79, pl. 197.
Venice, Palazzo Ducale, 1953: "Mostra di Lorenzo Lotto," p. 110, pl. 69 (Catalogue by Pietro Zampetti).
CMA, 1956: "The Venetian Tradition," cat. no. 24, p. 26, pl. I (Catalogue by Henry S Francis).
Columbus (Ohio) Gallery of Fine Ars, October 27-November 27 1961: "The Renaissance Image of Man and the World," cat. no. 29, repr.
Waltham, Massachusetts, Brandeis University, Insititute of Fine Arts, May 3-June 9, 1963: "Major Masters of the Renaissance, A Loan Exhibition of the Poses," cat. no. 11, p. 18, illus.
CMA, 1963: "Style, Truth and the Portrait," cat. no. 1, color frontispiece, (cataloge by Rèmy G. Saisselin).
Venice, Italy (9/5/99 - 1/9/00) Palazzo Grassi "Renaissance Venice and the North: Crosscurrents in the Time of Bellini, Dürer and Titian," no. 91, pp. 384-385.
Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome (2/25/2011 - 6/12/2011): "Lorenzo Lotto" ex. cat. no. 41, p. 224-225.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Library materials about Lotto (82)

Detail Views