Tune In to Lorenzo Lotto

Take an audio tour of the Venetian master's picture of the martyr, St Peter

By Google Arts & Culture

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1503, Bishop Bernardo De Rossi escapes a conspiracy plotted by his political opponents. What better way of thanking his patron saints than having a votive offering in the form of a painting done by the talented Lorenzo Lotto?

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Saint Peter the Martyr -killed in an ambush- is represented pierced by a cleaver and a dagger: the same fate could’ve happened to the artist’s client!

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Even though he was safe in real life, the Bishop didn’t survive inside this painting. Originally Lotto portrayed him kneeling in front of the Virgin; at the end of the century, he was removed and replaced by Young Saint John. Obviously, not Lotto’s work!

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Lotto differs from other Venetian masters. Their technique is characterized by dense colors, in overlapping layers. Lotto, instead, seeks a sculptural quality of color, with a cutting light that produces a chiaroscuro contrast. The sharpness of the figures reflects their moral character: the marble look of Madonna’s face displays her solemnity.

Madonna and Child with St. Peter Martyr (dated 1503) by Lorenzo LottoMuseo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

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