Lorenzo Lotto: "Lucina Brembati" (about 1520)
Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Accademia Carrara in Bergamo is one of the most important Italian museums. Founded at the end of the 18th century by Count Giacomo Carrara and housed in a great neo-classical building, it contains a range of masterpieces from the 14th to the 19th century, featuring Renaissance Venetian, Lombard, and Florentine paintings. Because it is currently closed for restoration, the Accademia Carrara has lent the Metropolitan Museum 15 masterpieces by Venetian and north Italian painters, including works by Giovanni Bellini, Titian, and Lorenzo Lotto.
Unlike many of Italy’s best-loved museums, the Accademia Carrara was not founded by the state. Its collection was formed in large part by a group of brilliant collectors of the 18th and 19th centuries, including the connoisseur Giovanni Morelli, who was from Bergamo. Its collections reflect their tastes, interests, and connoisseurship, and these collections, in turn, had an enormous influence on collecting in London and elsewhere in the later 19th century.
The exhibition will focus on the areas and specific works that make the collection so distinctive. These will include the three predella panels from Lorenzo Lotto’s magisterial altarpiece of 1513-1516, which was painted for Santo Stefano in Bergamo; Giovanni Bellini’s hauntingly beautiful Pietà (1470s); Orpheus and Eurydice (ca. 1512), an early poetic, pastoral work by Titian; and one of Lorenzo Lotto’s finest portraits, Lucina Brembati (about 1520). Installed within the context of the Metropolitan Museum’s own holdings of these same artists, the works will have an added resonance.