Lorenzo Lotto’s famous portrait of Andrea Odoni in the Royal Collection may be the canonical image of the Renaissance art collector. Monika Schmitter will present her recent book which investigates who Odoni was and how and why he amassed an impressive collection of antiquities, modern sculpture, paintings, and naturalia in his relatively modest Venetian palace. Odoni was a non-noble citizen and son of an immigrant, not a member of the ruling Venetian elite, but he understood the power of art to make a name for himself and his family in the changing world of early sixteenth-century Venice. Through an analysis of Odoni’s social position, collection, and above all his portrait painted by Lotto, Schmitter reveals how early modern individuals drew on contemporary ideas about spirituality, history, and science to forge their own theories about the power of things and the agency of objects. She shows how Lotto’s painting served as a meta-commentary on the practice of collecting and on the ability of material things to transform the self.
Monika Schmitter is Professor and Chair, Department of the History of Art, University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a specialist in Italian art of the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth century with an emphasis on the material culture and built environment of Venice. She is particularly interested in portraiture, patronage, domestic art and architecture, gender and class issues, and the history of collecting. Her book, The Art Collector in Early Modern Italy: Andrea Odoni and his Venetian Palace, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021. She has also published extensively in journals such as Renaissance Quarterly, The Burlington Magazine, Renaissance Studies, and The Journal of Architectural Historians.
Organised by Dr Irene Brooke (The Courtauld)