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  • NameGiovanni Bellini
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesItalian, born c. 1427, dead 1516
BiographyVasari, in his Vite, recognized Giovanni Bellini
as one of the great artists of his generation. With
his warm and luminous use of saturated colour,
Bellini helped to bring Venetian art into the Renaissance.
He was probably the best known of the
Bellini family of Venetian artists. His father Iacopo
headed a successful workshop, where Giovanni
and his brother Gentile were first trained. The
linear style of Bellini’s brother-in-law, Andrea
Mategna, was an early influence. This is apparent
in some of Bellini’s first independent works,
like the Madonna Davis (Metropolitan Museum
of Art, New York) and the Agony in the Garden
(National Gallery, London). With great adaptability,
his style underwent important changes
throughout his career, though his strong personality
was always evident. When the oil painting
technique was introduced into Venice by Antonello
da Messina in about 1475, Bellini soon switched
from tempera painting to the new medium and
his manner became softer and more luminous. He
produced religious works, often small-scale panels
for private devotion. Highly influential were his
half-length madonnas. The Pesaro Coronation from
c. 1473 (Museo Civico, Pesaro) is an example of his
devotional art, distinguished by great sensitivity
and calm dignity. At the end of his life, Bellini
NMDrh 481 Fig. 1, NMH 402/1863
62 63
also painted subjects based on classical literature,
like the Feast of the Gods from 1514 (National
Gallery of Art, Washington), commissioned by
the Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso I d’Este.
Work
Head of Christ
  • Head of Christ

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 30 x 30 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 42 x 42 x 6 cm
  • Free copy after: Giovanni Bellini, Italian, born c. 1427, dead 1516
  • NM 208
Dead Christ / Christ Crowned with Thorns
Study of a Cow
  • Study of a Cow

  • Pen and light brown ink, on paper
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 14,2 x 17,4 cm
  • Artist: Giovanni Bellini, Italian, born c. 1427, dead 1516. Circle of
    Former attribution: Tizian, Italian, born c. 1488 or 1490, born c. 1488 or 1490, dead 1576-08-27
  • NMH 1394/1863
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