Portrait of a Woman inspired by Lucretia

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Lorenzo Lotto 046.jpg

Portrait of a Woman inspired by Lucretia is a c.1533 oil on canvas portrait by Lorenzo Lotto. It is now in the National Gallery, London, which bought it in 1927[1].

It first appears in the written record at the end of the 18th century, when it was in the Pesaro collection in Venice - one theory holds that its subject was Lucrezi Valier, who married into the Pesaro family in 1533[2]. It was then still misattributed to Giorgione.[3]

The work's composition is similar to Lotto's Portrait of Andrea Odoni, with a standing figure beside a table and surrounded by symbolic objects. The subject holds and points to a print of the Roman heroine Lucretia committing suicide. A note on the table bears the inscription "Nec ulla impudica Lucretiae exemplo vivet" (no unchaste woman shall live by Lucretia's example), a quotation from Livy's account of the suicide. Together these indicate the subject's chastity and conjugal virtues, as does the bouquet of violets on the table.[4]


  1. ^ London, The National Gallery. "Lorenzo Lotto - Portrait of a Woman inspired by Lucretia - NG4256 - National Gallery, London". www.nationalgallery.org.uk.
  2. ^ Roberta D'Adda, Lotto, Skira, Milano 2004.
  3. ^ (in Italian) Carlo Pirovano, Lotto, Electa, Milano 2002. ISBN 88-435-7550-3
  4. ^ Elena Filippi, Una voce fuori campo: il disegno di Lucrezia, il paragone fra le arti, e gli “amici veneziani” di Lorenzo Lotto, Firenze: Giunti, Giunti, 2009, p. 72-85.