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Giovanni Bellini's biography

Facts about Giovanni Bellini biography

Bellini was an Italian renaissance painter. He was the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. His father was Jacopo Bellini. His brother in law was Andrea Mantegna . He is credited with revolutionizing Venetian painting giving it a sensuous look and colorful style. Using slow-drying clear oil paints he created deep rich hues and shades. Pupils of the Venetian school like Georgione and Titian were greatly influenced by Bellini’s coloring and clear natural landscapes.

Bellini was born in Venice in 1430. He lived and grew up in his father’s house with his brother Gentile. Till he attained 30 his works were full of religious feeling and human pathos which were his own creations.

In the early years his works consisted of old ‘tempera’ method the scenes softened by the pretty effect of romantic sunrise. (example ST JEROME)

With reduced emphasis on contour and greater stress on forms and drapery and with religious fervour, is DEAD CHRIST. Bellini’s brother in law Andrea(1431-1506) had cast a great influence on the style and composition of his works.

In 1470bBellini got his first appointment to co-work with his brother and other artists in the Scula di San Mario, where among other subjects he was asked to do DELUGE WITH NOAH’S ARK, though none of the works of the masters have survived, for whoever those works were done. His work TRANSFIGURATION, now in the museum in Naples shows his early quality at Venice. The great altarpiece of the CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN at Pesaro is one of his earliest works which were monopolized in Venice by the Vivarini school. Most of Bellini’s public works are now lost.

His altarpiece painted in tempera for a chapel in the Church of the S. Giovanni e Paulo perished in a fire in 1867 along with Titian’s “Peter Martyr” and Tintoretto’s “Crucifixion”.

After 1480 most of his time and resources were devoted by him to work as conservator of paintings in the Great Hall of the Ducal Palace. He received a fixed annual pension of 80 ducats for his works.

Apart from repairing and renewing his predecessor’s works he was awarded commissions for many new works. He discarded the Quatrocento manner and acquired a complete mastery of the new oil medium in Venice by Antonello des Messins in 1473. His works now revealed wordly serenity and charm; shedding the earlier pathos and devout nature.

In 1513 Bellini’s position as sole master at the Hall of the Great Council was usurped by one of his students Titian, who desired to have a piece of the cake too. In 1514 Bellini started painting THE FEAST OF THE GODS for the Duke of
Alfonso I of Ferrara but died in 1516.

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