Faces and inner lives in the portraits by Lorenzo Lotto

Lorenzo Lotto, Autoritratto - self-portrait

Likely "Self-portrait", c. 1540, oil on canvas, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

We are happy to present this series of portraits by Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto (1480-1557), quoting the great Polish writer and essayist Gustaw Herling-Grudziński (1919-2000).

“Lotto was born in Venice towards the end of the 15th century […] He was very prolific, but not very successful; he was a wanderer, in restless search of even the most meagre commissions. He was paid very little for his work in churches and for portraits. The best testimony of his character is malicious Aretino’s comment, ‘Oh Lotto, as good as good and as virtuous as virtue!’ […] It is said he had no ‘roots’. He wished to be buried in his hometown, Venice, but was too poor to live there before his death. He spent his last years an ‘oblate’ in a convent in Loreto, where he was sure to get a bowl of soup every day. He died there at around 80 years old. […] Bernard Berenson wrote a great monograph about him. I quote, ‘Never, neither before nor after Lorenzo Lotto, has there been an artist who could paint so much of his own interior life on the face of his models” (Gustaw Herling, “The Venetian Portrait”).

Thus we can say, here is a gallery of interior lives.

May 19, 2015