LORENZO LOTTO BIOGRAPHY
The artist was born in Venice in 1480 and worked mainly in Lombardy, Le Marche and Rome. He appears on the artistic scene at the beginning of 1500 in Treviso, near the Court of Bishop Bernardo de ‘Rossi, which leads him to a rapid artistic growth, preparing him for the subjects and techniques that will eventually characterize his peculiar work such as the portraits, the altarpieces, allegories, and icons of devotion.
His first authentic piece, dating back to 1503, entitled Madonna and Child, St. Peter and St. John, is a work commissioned by Bishop Bernardo himself. It reveals the inexperienced education of the artist, knowledge probably obtained in the School of Giovanni Bellini with influences of artists like Vivarini, Antonello da Messina and Barbari who guide him towards a style full of paintings, reproductions and artwork.
Lorenzo remains about six years in the city of Treviso and creates great pieces of art such as the Dream of a Maiden, St. Gerolamo, the portraits of Bishop De ‘Rossi and the Woman of Dijon, the Young Man in Vienna and the altarpiece of Saint Christine. In 1506 he moved to Le Marche, having been commissioned a polyptych for the Church of San Domenico in Recanati, and in 1508 he moves to Rome to decorate the new papal apartments in the Vatican.
The first assignment, however, does not satisfy Pope Julius II so the artist returns to Recanati and in the same year he paints the “Transfiguration” altarpiece and the fresco of “San Vincenzo Ferreri in Glory” intended for the Church of San Domenico while for the Church of San Floriano in Jesi he creates the “Deposition”.
During the years of activity in the capital, Lotto faces an artistic crisis, due to the influence of Raffaello’s painting, which resulted in a brief disorientation.
In 1513 he was entrusted with the construction of a large altarpiece for the Church of Santo Stefano in Bergamo, the current Church of San Bartolomeo, followed by the wonderful altarpieces of San Bernardino and Santo Spirito.
The comparison with the Lombard reality helps Lotto to define a language that combines some peculiarities of Leonardo and of Northern Italy that display a naturally ordered and realistic landscape. He is also active in Trescore, near Bergamo, where he depicts in the Suardi’s Oratory the stories of Saints Barbara, Chiara and Maria Maddalena which are characterized by intense brightness and are shrouded by drama capable of transforming the paintings into fairy tales.
In 1526 Lotto returns to Venice and in this period reaches his full artistic maturity. In fact, he distances himself from the rational spirit of Romanticism by giving his subjects an exaggerated amount of feelings and emotions very distant from the artistic morality of the period. The last years of the artist’s life are characterized by a significant economic decline that compels him to sell his treasures as well as some of his work. He dies between 1556 and 1557.