Introduction / The Early Years
Lotto in Bergamo / Lotto's Carpets
Pictures for Private Devotion
Lotto's Patrons
Return to Venice
The Later Years

Pictures for Private Devotion

In Bergamo, Lotto was sought after as a painter not only of portraits and altarpieces, but of small pictures for worship at home. As shown in this and the next gallery, these intimate paintings depict poignant moments from the lives of holy figures or the Madonna and Child in the close company of worshipful saints. Reflecting Lotto's own religious fervor, these are among his most moving images. The intense emotion that Lotto conveys through gestures and glances encourages viewers to identify with the holy figures and events portrayed.

To keep up with demand, Lotto sometimes repeated the same basic composition in different pictures. In the paintings to either side of the doorway, the central group of the Virgin and Child is nearly identical. In both works, Christ is posed above a small coffin alluding to his future sacrifice for the redemption of sin. The two paintings vary, however, in the treatment of the background and in various details. The most radical alteration, the choice of saints, probably reflects the individual preferences of Lotto's patrons.

List of all objects in this room

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