Despite that drape, of a green grain with many wavy folds, like a curtain hanging from the upper edge of the canvas and just pulled, vegetation, trees and a section of the luminous horizon are figures of a visual echo that refers to Lotto’s painted landscape composition of the Sacrifice of Melchizedek. A landscape also suspended here, like time: it is caught, it would seem, at dusk, perhaps at sunset, were it not for that light, that brightness that explodes in the center of the canvas, and rises vertically, from the white cloth on which Jesus is lying, through his body, through that of John, to the central angel.It is a family scene, of families, with Joseph and Zachariah, the most distant from children, caught throwing a glance on distracted men, instead of directing it towards Jesus (as happens in the previous version of the painting, which is located in the Louvre Museum, Paris). The only one, together with the three angels, who has her eyes turned towards the revealed God, is Mary. Painted by Lotto with an expressionless face, it is her open arms and hands that speak: they speak of amazement and welcome, as in Lotto’s Virgin Annunciata of Recanati, and of Jesi, rather than the apprehension for the sacrificial destiny of his son. The mother, moreover, does nothing other than correspond to the gesture of Jesus, reaching out, as it were, towards the small cross that John holds out to him. And under the white cloth, there is a second, red carmine, which Lotto had not dared to paint in the version that is now Parisian. It is the red of the blood of which the earth, all nature, will have to bathe, for the redemption of all.It will also be true, as someone has written, that this Loreto version, compared to the one in the Louvre, manifests itself as a less “extraordinary” work in execution. And yet there is an indisputable and perhaps more significant fact: the characters of the two works, compared to each other, are not different, significantly different. The difference is only in the figure of Jesus, the true unchangeable center.