Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John (Pietà)

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430 – 1516)

Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430–1516) was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it towards a more sensuous and colouristic style. Through the use of clear, slow-drying oil paints, Giovanni created deep, rich tints and detailed shadings. His sumptuous coloring and fluent, atmospheric landscapes had a great effect on the Venetian painting school, especially on his pupils Giorgione and Titian.

Movements: Renaissance, Naturalism, Perspectivism

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John Pietà 300x241

Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John (Pietà)

Giovanni Bellini was born in Venice. He was brought up in his father’s house, and always lived and worked in the closest fraternal relation with his brother Gentile. Up until the age of nearly thirty we find in his work a depth of religious feeling and human pathos which is his own. His paintings from the early period are all executed in the old tempera method; the scene is softened by a new and beautiful effect of romantic sunrise color.

In a somewhat changed and more personal manner, with less harshness of contour and a broader treatment of forms and draperies, but not less force of religious feeling, are the Dead Christ pictures, in these days one of the master’s most frequent themes, (see for example the Pietà: Dead Christ Supported by the Virgin and St. John). Giovanni’s early works have often been linked both compositionally and stylistically to those of his brother-in-law, Andrea Mantegna.

As is the case with a number of his brother, Gentile’s public works of the period, many of Giovanni’s great public works are now lost. The still more famous altar-piece painted in tempera for a chapel in the church of S. Giovanni e Paolo, where it perished along with Titian’s Peter Martyr and Tintoretto’s Crucifixion in the disastrous fire of 1867.

Albrecht Dürer, visiting Venice for a second time in 1506, describes Giovanni Bellini as still the best painter in the city, and as full of all courtesy and generosity towards foreign brethren of the brush.

In 1507 Bellini’s brother Gentile died, and Giovanni completed the picture of the Preaching of St. Mark which he had left unfinished; a task on the fulfillment of which the bequest by the elder brother to the younger of their father’s sketch-book had been made conditional.

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Barbarigo Altarpiece

Barbarigo Altarpiece

Both in the artistic and in the worldly sense, the career of Bellini was, on the whole, very prosperous. His long career began with Quattrocento styles but matured into the progressive post-Giorgione Renaissance styles. He lived to see his own school far outshine that of his rivals, the Vivarini of Murano; he embodied, with growing and maturing power, all the devotional gravity and much also of the worldly splendour of the Venice of his time; and he saw his influence propagated by a host of pupils, two of whom at least, Giorgione and Titian, equalled or even surpassed their master. Giorgione he outlived by five years; Titian, as we have seen, challenged him, claiming an equal place beside his teacher.

Let’s see some of his most important works:

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Angel of the Annunciation and Virgin Annunciate

Angel of the Annunciation and Virgin Annunciate

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Agony in the Garden

Agony in the Garden

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni San Zaccaria Altarpiece

San Zaccaria Altarpiece

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni San Giobbe Altarpiece

San Giobbe Altarpiece

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Polyptych of San Vincenzo Ferreri

Polyptych of San Vincenzo Ferreri

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Pesaro Altarpiece

Pesaro Altarpiece

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror

Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Madonna and Child with Two Saints Sacra Conversazione

Madonna and Child with Two Saints (Sacra Conversazione)

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Madonna and Child Blessing

Madonna and Child Blessing

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Drunkennes of Noah

Drunkennes of Noah

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John Pietà

Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John (Pietà)

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

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