Lorenzo Lotto and the Annunciation of Recanati
Lorenzo Lotto was not an easy guy. He had his own temper. If the client did not like the ideas of the great Venetian painter, Lorenzo did not think twice: he changed client.
Born in Venice at the time of Titian it wasn't a good idea. The Vecellio workshop was the master and also for this reason the shadowy Lotto lived wandering.
Going around Italy had its advantages, because Lorenzo Lotto saw all the art there was to see, from Raphael to Leonardo and other different and stimulating realities.
So in 1534, for the brotherhood of merchants in Recanati, he painted one of his masterpieces: The Annunciation, which was then called, with a titanic effort of imagination: The Annunciation of Recanati.
You can search as much as you like, but among hundreds of announcements painted in a century you will never find one like it.
The setting has a Flemish precision. Lorenzo Lotto describes in detail all the everyday objects of a young girl of her time: the lectern, the candle, an inkwell, the hourglass and even the night cap.
The angel wields a lily and there is little of the rarefied aura that usually surrounds these celestial beings. He is a handsome, handsome angel and well placed with a lot of shadow on the ground.
The right arm is engaged in a gesture that indicates God the Father who, also far from spiritual, seems to be diving headlong into the real world, like a young man in the swimming pool.
Our Lady is more than surprised, frightened, almost like the cat that reacts like the feline with its back arched. Mary's gesture is surprisingly turned towards us who are looking, as if to want to involve us in this surprising event.
Seek our support empathetically and it is with us that he talks and not with the angel and much less does he pose from "The manual of the announcements".
For Lorenzo Lotto, the announcement is imagined exactly as we might think it is: something incredible, unexpected, but concrete and real.
Like the genius of Lorenzo Lotto.