Lorenzo Lotto Portraits

The National Gallery presents the first exhibition of Lotto’s portraits in the UK, organised by the National Gallery and the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

Lorenzo Lotto (about 1480 – 1556/7) was one of the most fascinating artists of the early 16th century. Known predominantly for his portraits and religious paintings, his works are characterised by expressive sensitivity and immediacy. All are recognisable for their deeply saturated colours and bold use of shadow. Celebrated as one of the greatest portraitists of the Italian Renaissance, Lotto uniquely portrayed a cross section of middle-class sitters, among them clerics, merchants, and humanists. He depicted men, women, and children in compositions embedded with symbolism and imbued with great psychological depth.
The prominent addition of objects which hinted at the social status, interests, and aspirations of his subjects added meaning to each work.

Some of these objects, including carpets, sculpture, jewellery, and other personal belongings will be displayed as part of the exhibition.

A significant amount of information pertaining to Lotto’s sitters is available, mainly due to his partially intact account books which offer details about their identities, the prices of the works, and the ways in which they were created. Some of these documents will also be on view in the exhibition.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the Gallery Moshe Tabibnia has loaned an extraordinary example of a so-called "Lotto" carpet from the Zaleski Collection.

London, National Gallery
Nov. 5, 2018