Portrait of a Gentleman with a Lion Paw

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Portrait of a Gentleman with a Lion Paw
Lorenzo Lotto 049.jpg
Artist Lorenzo Lotto
Year c. 1527
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 95.5 cm × 69.5 cm (37.6 in × 27.4 in)
Location Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The Portrait of a Gentleman with a Lion Paw is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance painter Lorenzo Lotto, dating to c. 1527. It is housed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna, Austria.

History[edit]

The work is known since 1679, when it was listed in the collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria. The identity of the character portrayed is unknown, as well as the execution date, although the canvas has been assigned to Lotto's early Venetian period, when he worked for several private commissioners.

Description[edit]

The work shows, over a red and a green backgrounds, a gentleman wearing a rich, fur-lined black coat. He is standing and showing a gilt lion paw. The right hand, in a sentimental gesture typical of Lotto, is touching his chest, showing two precious rings. The composition and the colors were highly influenced by Titian, then the most respected painter in Venice.

The symbolic meaning of the lion paw has not been cleared. It could be an allusion to the subject's name, perhaps Leonino Brambati of Bergamo, or a member of the Venetian family of the Zatta (in Venetian dialect, "paw").

See also[edit]

The lion's paw is a well known masonic gesture.

Sources[edit]

  • Pirovano, Carlo (2002). Lotto. Milan: Electa. 

External links[edit]