Artibus et Historiae no. 19 (X)

1989, ISSN 0391-9064

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MARIA LUISA RICCIARDI - Lorenzo Lotto's The Gentleman in the Galleria Borghese

Lorenzo Lotto's style is free of purely gratuitous decorativeness, and, in the construction of his images, all elements of iconography and color have a double function, structural and semantic. Based on a careful examination of these assumptions, the article painstakingly analyzes The Gentleman in the Borghese Gallery in Rome, in terms of, first of all, its iconography, then its iconology, and finally its documentation, in order to make a hypothesis as to its possible sponsor. As a result, the author concludes that the subject of the portrait is Mercurio Bua (1475-1545), a Greek condottiere in the service of Venice. If this identification is correct, we can ascertain from Bua's biography that the portrait must have been painted in Treviso in 1535.

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