Portrait of Lucina Brembati
(Italian, Venice ca. 1480–1556 Loreto)
Oil on wood
20 11/16 x 17 5/8 in. (52.6 x 44.8 cm)
Accademia Carrara, Bergamo. Acquired from the Countess Degnamerita Grumelli Albani of Bergamo, 1882
Not on view
This forthright lady wears a ring with the coat of arms of the Brembati family of Bergamo. Her exact identity is provided by solving the rebus of the crescent moon inscribed with the letters ci—a play on the Italian word luna: Lucina Brembati, a noblewoman who bore her first son in 1508 and was probably in her early thirties when she sat for Lotto. She wears sumptuous pearls and other jewelry, including a golden toothpick, and a marten-fur stole—a luxury object that also helped to attract fleas. The portrait combines Lotto’s unswerving insistence on the truthful depiction of Lucina’s somewhat unlovely features with the imaginative and even romantic idea of a nocturnal setting.