I don’t do enough art. I caught on TV last night art that is at Basilica of Santa Casa in Loreto, Italy. Loreto is the famous city where the supposedly the house of the Virgin Mary was transported and rebuilt, and where we get the wonderful Litany of Loreto. One of the featured artists was Renaissance artist Lorenzo Lotto. I had never heard of Lotto, but from the paintings highlighted I was very impressed. So I went and looked him up.
He comes from the Venetian school and a contemporary of Titian. In fact on a cursory review it looks like Lotto’s art was much akin to Titian’s, and though I’m not an art scholar I would say it compares favorably. And that’s saying a lot. Lotto seems to have specialized in religious subjects, and ultimately becoming a Franciscan Lay brother and spending the last seven years of his life at Loreto.
Here are a few of his works that really impress me.
I’m not sure why he adds St. Catherine of Alexandria here, but the positioning of arms here is very interesting, as is the color and background. The Holy Family with St. Catherine of Alexandria, 1533.
And here is the Holy Family with my St. Catherine, dramatizing the mystical marriage with Christ, here portrayed as a child. The Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine of Siena, 1508.
Now this Annunciation seems like a modernist surreal painting, with the Virgin facing away and a cat at the center. Recanati Annunciation, 1534. You can read about this one on Wikipedia.
I really like a number of Lotto’s secular portraits. Here’s Portrait of Gentleman with Gloves, 1543.
Finally here’s a self-portrait from sometime in the 1540s.
He really emphasizes the artist’s eye.