Artibus et Historiae no. 8 (IV)

1983, ISSN 0391-9064

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AUGUSTO GENTILI - Lorenzo Lotto in Historical Context: Two Episodes Redocumented

A hypothesis has been put forth lately, by no means convincingly, that Lotto belonged to a community with Protestant leanings. In the present study, we reject a Manichean polarization into orthodox and heterodox and assert the middle-of-the-road position of the painter, who already in the early 1500's employed some of the " reformist " themes of the imitation of Christ and of the contemplative life, and then in the 50's and 40's quite prone to seek a position of mediation and conciliation, which he subsequently made explicit in the Redeemer in Vienna. In this framework the body of the article documents two episodes of interest regarding Lotto, showing that: 1) Girolamo de Bologna, author of the Operetta nova spirituale (Venice 1515) cannot be identified with Girolamo Bologni, the Trevisan humanist. 2) The "vinculo del san Joanne" which as the Libro di spese reports link of Lotto and Joan dal Saon, does not refer to a supposed heterodox community, but to the "vincolo di comparato" the baptismal bond, that unites them in the name of the godfather par excellence, John the Baptist.

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