This is one of the most innovative and dynamic portraits of the Renaissance.
The Venetian collector Andrea Odoni (1488-1545) holds in one hand a statuette of Diana of Ephesus, symbol of nature, and with the other he clasps a cross to his chest, suggesting that Christianity takes precedence over nature and the pagan gods of antiquity. Lotto had recently returned to Venice after thirteen years in Bergamo and was anxious to impress possible patrons in Venice.
The portrait has aptly been described as one of the finest and most ambitious of all of Lotto's portraits and a deliberate challenge to Titian's supremacy in the field.
Image rights: © Royal Collection Trust / HM Queen Elizabeth II
Andrea Odoni; his brother, Alvise Odoni by 1555; Lucas van Uffelen, probably by 1623; Gerard Reynst, 1639; States of Holland and West Friesland for presentation to Charles II, 1660