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

Portrait of a Gentleman with Gloves

c. 1543
Oil on canvas, 90 x 75 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

This work has always been regarded as one of the finest of Lotto's portraits for its subtly nuanced expression of the sitter's face, and for the quality of the execution.

It is assumed that the sitter was Liberale da Pinedel (1495-1548), and the portrait was executed at Treviso. Pinedel's family was originally from San Stefano di Pinidello near Ceneda, but had settled in Treviso in the fourteenth century. The family was originally employed as barrel-makers, but by the mid-sixteenth century it was closely associated with the legal profession, and in 1593 it was admitted to the ranks of the local nobility. Pinedel is portrayed wearing an expensive costume, with the few but telling accessories of a gentleman: gold chain, heavy gold ring, embroidered white handkerchief, and gloves.

The compositional formula resembles that evolved by Titian for his own aristocratic portraits.