LOTTO, Lorenzo
(b. ca. 1480, Venezia, d. 1556, Loreto)

Madonna and Child with Sts Dominic, Gregory and Urban

Oil on wood, 227 x 108 cm
Pinacoteca Comunale, Recanati

The painting is the central panel of the Recanati Polyptych. The painter was commissioned by the Dominican friars at Recanati in 1506 to execute the polyptych consisting of six compartments. This structure (Sts Thomas Aquinas and Flavian at the left wing, Sts Peter the Martyr and Vitus at the right wing, Sts Lucy and Vincent Ferrer, the Pietà, and Sts Catherine of Siena and Sigismund at the upper part) is essentially Quattrocento in spirit.

Lorenzo Lotto was probably trained in the Bellini workshop and his early works are strongly Bellinesque. This painting is an illustration of Lotto's early period. The picture is suffused with light, and in particular with light reflected from the vaulting of the loggia which shelters the group of Madonna and Child with attendant saints and angels from the brilliant sun outside.