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Paris Art Studies – Late Autumn 2008


Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430 – 1516)


c. 1430 – late 1460’s -  Giovanni Bellini was probably born in Venice son of painter Jacopo Bellini. He was brought up in his father's house, and always lived and worked in the close relation with his brother Gentile. His nickname in Venetian dialect was “Giambellino”. His paintings from the early period are all executed in the old tempera method.

1453 – the great Padovese painter Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506) marries his sister Nicolosia. Giovanni's early works have often been linked both compositionally and stylistically to those of his brother-in-law.

1464 – Paints Polyptych of Vincenzo Ferrer for church of Ss Giovanni e Paolo his firs major altarpiece.

1470 -  Giovanni's received his first appointment to work along with his brother and other artists in the Scuola di San Marco, where among other subjects he was commissioned to paint a Deluge with Noah's Ark. None of the master's works painted for the various Venetian scuole (religious confraternities) or for the ducal palace, have survived.

1471-72 – Paints the  Coronation of the Virgin for Constanzo Sforza lord of Pesaro, his grandest altarpiece to date with a unified composition, a form of art previously almost monopolized in Venice by the rival school of the Vivarini.

c. 1473 – Adopts new technique of oil paint introduced to Venice by Antonello da Messina.

1479-1480 -  Named conservator of the paintings in the great hall of the ducal palace for a fixed annual pension of eighty ducats. Besides repairing and repainting the works of his predecessors he was commissioned to paint a number of historical paintings, six or seven in all, depicting scenes from medieval Venetian history. Much admired in their period they perished in the great fire of 1577.

late 1480’s – Paints San Giobbe altarpiece for Venetian hospital of St Job. Beginning of his great late manner.

1501-2 – Paints 14-foot high Baptism for San Corona in Vicenza. It contains the most beautiful landscape of his late manner.

1502 – 1505 - As grand old master of Venetian painting is inundated with commissions he is unable to complete. Employs a huge workshop which produces most of his late Madonnas. Described by Albrecht Dürer the great German painter and engraver as still the best painter in town during his visit to Venice of 1506. Greatest, most luminous work of this period is the San Zaccaria altarpiece (1505.)

1507 – Death of his brother Gentile. Completes Gentile’s Preaching of St Mark as a condition for inheriting their father’s famous book of drawings.

1513 – After the death of Alvise Viviarini he is sole remaining master in charge of the paintings of hall of Great Council in ducal palace.

1514 – Undertakes to paint the Feast of the Gods for duke Alfonso I of Ferrara. The painting unfinished at his death will be completed by Titian.

1516 –Dies at the age of about 85.


Giorgione and Titian paintings from second lecture:


Giorgione – Il Tramonto c. 1500-01

Giorgione – Laura 1506

Giorgione – La Vecchia c. 1500

Giorgione – Adoration of the Shepherds  1505-10

Giorgione – Tempesta c. 1505

Giorgione – Sleeping Venus c.1510

Titian – Gupsy Madonna c. 1500-01

Titian – Portrait of Ariosto (?) c. 1510-15

Titian (begun by Bellini) – Feast of the Gods c. 1514-29

Titian – Concert champetre c. 1509

Titian – Sacred and Profane Love c. 1515

Titian – Noli me tangere c. 1511-12

Titian – Assumption of the Virgin – altarpiece of Sta Maria Gloriosa dei Frari 1516-18

Titian – Festival of Venus 1518-19

Titian – Bacchanal of the Adrians c. 1520

Titian – Bacchus and Ariadne 1522-23

Titian – Federico Gonzaga, duke of Mantua c. 1523

Titian – Laura Dianti 1527-28

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