Lorenzo Lotto (c. 1480 – 1556) was a Northern Italian painter draughtsman and illustrator, traditionally placed in the Venetian school. He painted mainly altarpieces, religious subjects and portraits. While he was active during the High Renaissance, he already constitutes, through his nervous and eccentric posings and distortions, a transitional stage to the first Florentine and Roman Mannerists of the 16th century.
A young woman is seated on a grassy bank beside a pool of water. In the sky above her, a winged putto scatters small white flowers in her lap. In the lower right corner, a satyr reclines, pouring wine from a jar into his mouth, while opposite him a female satyr observes the scene. Behind a grove of trees the sun rises or sets over a distant mountain range.
Hans Holbein the Younger (c. 1497 – c. 1543) was a German painter, draftsman, and designer renowned for the precise rendering of his drawings and the compelling realism of his portraits, particularly those recording the court of King Henry VIII of England.
Holbein dated this family portrait, which is painted on paper, in the bottom right-hand corner, but the last digit was lost when the figures were cut out round the outline later in the 16th century and subsequently stuck on a black-painted panel. Several considerations strongly suggest the portrait must date from 1528, shortly after Holbein's return from England: his son Philipp, born around 1522, is about six in the picture, and his daughter Katharina is hardly more than two; moreover, his children Jakob and Küngold, born around 1529 and 1530 respectively, are not present. The moving combination of resolution and frailty seen in this family portrait is unique in Holbein's production. The introverted mood of the work extends beyond the usual level of reticence in his English portraits.
Artist Edgar Degas was so fascinated with ballet dancers that he became obsessed with representing them in his art. It is estimated Degas made approximately 1500 paintings, pastels, prints and drawings of dancers.
Rogier van der Weyden (c. 1399 – 1464) was a Flemish painter who, with the possible exception of Jan van Eyck, was the most influential northern European artist of his time. Though most of his work was religious, he produced secular paintings (now lost) and some sensitive portraits. By the middle of the 19th century, his fame and art had all but been forgotten. Only through a meticulous research have scholars over the past century been able to reconstruct Rogier's work and restore his reputation as one of 15th-century Flanders' leading masters.
This beautiful figure seated on a cushion reading a devotional book can be identified as Mary Magdalene by the jar at her side, in reference to the ointment with which she anointed Christ's feet (Luke 7:37-8). When the painting was cleaned in 1956 it was discovered that its dark uniform background, applied probably in the nineteenth century, had concealed the body of Saint Joseph holding a rosary, part of a window with a landscape view, and the foot and crimson drapery of another figure, identified as Saint John the Evangelist.