Lorenzo Lotto: The Frescoes in the Oratorio Suardi at Trescore

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In 1524, Count Giovan Battista Suardi commissioned Lorenzo Lotto to decorate the private chapel in his country home at Trescore Balneario, Bergamo. Published on the occasion of the touring exhibition showing in Washington, Bergamo and Paris, the complete cycle of frescoes at Tresco re, representing the highest point in Lotto's career, is presented and examined here. The paintings that he created for the chapel, a cycle of frescoes illustrating the legends of St Barbara, St Bridgit of Ireland, St Catherine of Alexandria and St Clara, represent the highest point in Lotto's career, and are characterized by expert composition and handling of space, and the extraordinary vividness and immediacy of the scenes. Lotto reveals his gift as an outstanding story-teller, who excelled in reconciling complex theological statements with naturalism, in a highly personal synthesis of dramatic religious episodes and everyday anecdotes. The lives of the Saints are told in a series of episodes shown in sequence; side by side with the drama of the Saint's conversions, miracles and martydoms. A text by Francesca Cortesi Bosco, a leading expert in Italian Renaissance painting and particularly the life and works of Lorenzo Lotto, examines the frescoes, their creation and meaning.

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