14 November 2018, The Tablet

Soul searching: Lotto has the psychological edge over Titian


Soul searching: Lotto has the psychological edge over Titian

Lotto’s Triple Portrait of a Goldsmith (detail) of 1525–35
Photo: Photo: © Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemäldegalerie, Vienna

 

The formal portrait is as old as painting, but the origins of the psychological portrait – the image that seeks to capture the sitter’s identity, his or her “soul” – are harder to trace. The concept is essentially modern, and democratic: nobody in a position of power would commission a portraitist to expose their vulnerabilities for their enemies to exploit.

 

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