Joseph Burke Lecture | Possessions and sacred signs in the art of Lorenzo Lotto (1480-1556) | Paul Hills

Possessions and sacred signs in the art of Lorenzo Lotto (1480-1556)

Paul Hills, Courtauld Institute of Art

Lorenzo Lotto, Portrait of Andrea Odoni, 1527, Oil on canvas, 104 x 117 cm Royal Collection, Hampton Court

Active in northern Italy in a period when the function of sacred images was challenged by reformers, Lorenzo Lotto (c.1480-1556/7) was a painter who was inventive in recasting religious imagery. This lecture will argue that Lotto’s career sheds a vivid light on the shifting relation between authorship, ownership and devotion in Early Modern Italy. Moving between religious subjects and portraiture, Lotto suggests an enfolding of the self within the dwelling place of garments. All manner of textiles, including fashionable clothes and furnishings, are displayed as tokens personal possession, yet at the same time Lorenzo Lotto discovers domestic equivalents ­– in towels, handkerchiefs, and shawls ­– for the vestments of religious ritual.

Paul Hills studied the History of Art at the University of Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. After teaching for many years at Warwick University, he returned in 2003 to the Courtauld Institute as Professor of Renaissance Art. He has also been Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts in New York, at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence, as well as the Royal College of Art in London. On his retirement in 2012 he was made Emeritus Professor at the Courtauld. His publications include The Light of Early Italian Painting, 1987, and Venetian Colour: Marble, Mosaic, Painting and Glass, 1999, ( both Yale University Press). He is currently completing a book on Curtains, Veils and Drapery in the Renaissance.

Date: Monday 6th May, 6.30 pm

Venue: Elizabeth Murdoch Lecture Theatre, University of Melbourne

Enquiries: Dr Felicity Harley-McGowan, Gerry Higgins Lecturer in Medieval Art History, +61 3 8344 4285

The Joseph Burke lecture is presented by the Art History discipline at the University of Melbourne.