BELLINI, Giovanni, Venetian painter: b. about 1430; d. 1516. He was the younger son of Jacopo Bellini, an original artist of great vigor and attainments, who went to vari ous cities of northern and central Italy and came in contact with the Renaissance influences, new in his time, which were to vivify the de clining medimval art of Italy. It was particu larly in Padua where Squarcione had his famous collection of classical antiquities, that the new attitude toward art was taking shape, and the closeness of relation between the Bellini and Squarcione groups may be judged from the fact that Jacopo Bellini gave his daughter in marriage to Mantegna, the adopted son of Squarcione. Giovanni Bellini and his older and only less gifted brother Gentile carried on their father's work. and the two sons lived to see their art triumph over that of the previous school of the Vi varini of Murano. This is the true point of departure of the Venetian school. Beginning with works in which the Squarcionesque ideas joined to his father's teaching forms the dominating influence (this period is well repre sented at the Correr Museum in Venice by the (Pieta,' the 'Transfiguration) and the (Cruci fixion)), we find Giovanni Bellini in 1459 painting the 'Agony in the Garden,' the master piece of his early manner. From this time on he is more independent and of the character we associate with Venetian art. The great 'Coro nation of the Virgin) at San Francesco, Pesaro, shows Bellini in almost full possession of his personal style as does the 'Madonna' of the National Gallery, London. The change was accentuated in decade 1470-80, when Bellini learned from Antonello da Messina the process of oil-painting, his work up to this time having been done in tempera. The dis covery was one peculiarly suited to the nature of Bellini and his people. For while fresco and tempera with their tendency toward sever ity were well adapted to the draughtsmen of Florence, the warmth and modulation of oil color were of the greatest value to the sumptu ous art of Venice. It was probably as much Giovanni Bellini's national character as his great mastery that brought to him his great pupils Giorgioue and Titian, beside many others who attained fame. The Venetian spirit and
sense of beauty are evidenced in the celebrated 'Conversazione) or 'Allegory' in the Uffizi, or the 'Virgin with Four Saints' at San Zac caria, Venice. Landscape and atmosphere arc brought, in the Uffizi picture, to one of the highest points they had yet attained, and in deed we may almost say, that they were too attain subsequently. Another fine example of the qualities is afforded by the 'Transfigura tion' in the Naples Museum. To the artist's middle period belong such important works as the altar-pieces of San Giobbe and of San Francesco della Vigna, Venice, that of Santa Corona at Vicenza (the 'Baptism of Christ)), the (Madonna and Child' of the Brera, Milan, the famous picture of the (Madonna with the Doge Barberino' at Murano and the (Madonna with Saints' at the Venice Academy. From 1488 to 1505 BeIlini was constantly engaged on decorations in the ducal_palace, which were later destroyed by fire. Chosen state painter, he executed (about 1500-05) the portrait of the Doge Loredano which is now in the National Gallery', London. Two pictures in American collections may be safely attributed to hirn, one being in the Metropolitan Museum of New York. The last picture by Bellini to which we can assign a date with certainty is the altar piece of the church of San Giovanni Chrysos tomo, Venice (1513). It shows the venerable painter still in command of his powers, and if he had at this time left innovation to his pupils, he was yet able to intensify the qualities he possessed. Beside his service to landscape art, which we have noted, Bellini gave the first great example of the color for which Venice was to have its unsurpassed renown. His religious feeling is serene and pure, a certain sweetness and an almost pathetic sincerity mak ing him one of the best-loved of painters. Con sult Fry, Roger E., (Giovanni BeRini) (London 1899) ; Berenson, 'Venetian Painters of the Renaissance' (New York 1897); Venturi, (Le origini della pittura veneziana' (Venice 1907), and Meynell, (Giovanni Bellini) (New York 1906).