Leonardo Loredan was the Doge of Venice from 1501-21. He is shown here wearing his robes of state for this formal portrait. The hat and ornate buttons are part of the official wardrobe. The sitter can be identified as Doge Loredan by comparing his features with portrait medals of him. The shape of the hat comes from the hood of a doublet. It is called a 'corno' and was worn over a linen cap.

Venice had a tradition of painting formal portraits of its rulers dressed in state robes. This work is painted in the style of the sculpted portrait busts popular at the time. These were often inspired by Roman sculpture. Bellini signed his name in its Latin form on the cartellino, or 'small paper', on the parapet. He was famous for his portraiture and helped make this art form especially popular in Venice.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
active about 1459; died 1516
Full title
Doge Leonardo Loredan
Date made
1501-2
Medium and support
Oil on poplar
Dimensions
61.6 x 45.1 cm
Inscription summary
Signed
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1844
Inventory number
NG189
Location in Gallery