Judith plays Lotto

02 Oct

No, not the lottery.   But you may still be a winner.

This is the work of Lorenzo Lotto, whose style evolved from Giorgione’s detached emotion to dramatic depictions more similar to Correggio.   Through the use of tense, eccentric poses with sharp lines and vivid colors, he began the transition to 16th century Mannerism.   But in an age dominated by Titian and Tintoretto, his style was viewed as unfashionable and he was alienated from other Italian artists.

In comparison to his contemporaries in Venice, this depiction of Judith and her maid is a close-up rather than the wide-screen that was typical.    The colors are bold – canary yellow and tomato red on the maid, cornflower blue and spring green on Judith.    They are portrayed as robust and energetic – almost running across the canvas.    Judith pauses to look at the viewer while the maid inquires of Judith:  “Have you been using hot rollers again?  Because I think I see some split ends.  And you definitely need to tend to your roots.”

Lorenzo Lotto, “Judith with the head of Holofernes,” 1512, oil on panel, 20×15 cm, Banco Nationale del Lavoro, Rome, Italy

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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Story


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