Madonna and Child by Lorenzo Lotto

Sacra Conversazione | Lorenzo Lotto

MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINT CATHERINE AND SAINT JAMES BY LORENZO LOTTO

What makes Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint James by Lorenzo Lotto housed at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna so special? Who commissioned the painting and where was it supposed to be placed?
It’s not easy to answer these questions, but you may formulate some hypotheses and you may understand the greatness of Lorenzo Lotto.

In this post I’ll make you discover a masterpiece.

Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint James

Lorenzo Lotto | Sacra Conversazione

WHEN WAS MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINT CATHERINE AND SAINT JAMES BY LORENZO LOTTO PAINTED?

Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint James was painted between 1526 and 1528, when probably the artist made his most beautiful masterpieces.
In those years, in fact, Lorenzo Lotto had returned to Venice, his birthplace, after a long stay in Bergamo and its surroundings.

ANALYSIS OF MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINT CATHERINE AND SAINT JAMES BY LORENZO LOTTO

Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint James by Lorenzo Lotto portrays an exchange of thoughts, opinions and looks about the destiny of Jesus.

The characters are together in a sunny day and light casts irregular and natural shadows.
Mary wears a sumptuous light-blue dress and occupies the central part of the scene. She is sitting on the grass and holds Jesus, while behind them is an oak.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria wears a precious green dress and a red cloak and looks at Saint James, who is leaning his shoulder against the spear that pierced Jesus’ ribs.
The angel, on the left, is depicted while is about to put a coronet of flowers on Mary’s head.

THE COMMISSIONERS OF MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINT CATHERINE AND SAINT JAMES BY LORENZO LOTTO

The presence of Saint Catherine and Saint James may be due to the fact that the commissioners carried the name of the two saints, but, actually, we don’t know who commissioned the painting.
What is certain is that it was an important and rich commission. In fact, Mary’s dress was painted using blue lapis lazuli, a very expensive and precious colour that usually required an advanced payment to the artist.

The first document about Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint James by Lorenzo Lotto dates back to 1660, and at that time the painting was already in the Imperial Austrian art collections.

MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINT CATHERINE AND SAINT JAMES BY LORENZO LOTTO IN VENETIAN PAINTING

Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint James by Lorenzo Lotto is the representation of a very common theme and, in Venice, from Giovanni Bellini onward was interpreted in various ways.
In the 16th century, in addition, the size of Madonna and Child decreased because its use changed. In fact, it was no longer placed inside churches, rather in private houses.

Lorenzo Lotto was one of the first artists who made paintings dedicated to private devotion and this Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint James by Lorenzo Lotto is an example.

Lorenzo Lotto | | exhibitions in Venice

Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint James by Lorenzo Lotto on exhibition in Venice

WHERE TO SEE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINT CATHERINE AND SAINT JAMES BY LORENZO LOTTO

Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint James by Lorenzo Lotto is housed at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

 

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