The Lovers has been purchased by Giovanni Prinetti in 1890.
The painting combines themes favoured by Titian with an echo of Giorgione, for example in the musing, sensual pose of the lovers and their sentimental tension at odds with the unexpected male figure in the background. The picture’s iconography is still unclear: is the necklace a love token or a reward for favours received? Is the man in the background a witness to a wedding? Do the figures portray real people or are they characters in an allegory? Scholars are still debating the issue today, however the painting may just represent the main moment of the bridal agreement, according to this period’s custom and yet free from the Trento’s Council norms; therefore the man on the background is supposed to be the witness (modern day’s best man), the only important attendee in order to validate the wedding and that becomes guarantor of the bridal agreement. The wedding is also proved by the belt that wears the bride (named paternostro) that symbolise matrimonial’s unity and strenght.
AUTHOR Paris Bordon
DATE 1525 - 30
OBJECT TYPE AND MATERIAL Oil on canvas
DIMENSIONS cm 80.5 x 86
Work on display
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