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Lorenzo Lotto: 'Portrait of Giovanni della Volta with his Wife and Children'

This is probably a portrait of the Venetian merchant, Giovanni della Volta and his family described in Lotto's account book between 1538 and 1547. No other portrait of a man, woman and two children by Lotto is known.

The action is focused on the bowl of cherries on the table. The mother offers cherries to her daughter, while the father offers them to his son, who seems to dance before him in the foreground.

The table with its elaborately patterned Turkish carpet is central to the painting. This is of a type frequently represented by Lotto (hence known as a 'Lotto carpet') and has yellow arabesques on a red field, and a Kufic border.


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