Giovanni Bellini: An Introduction

An accessible guide to the foremost figure in Venetian Renaissance painting, tracing Bellini’s personal artistic development within historical context.

Italian Renaissance artist Giovanni Bellini (c. 1435/40–1516) is considered the most important practitioner of Venetian painting in the latter half of the 15th century. Born into a family of painters, Bellini began studying art at a young age, painting primarily in the prevailing Gothic style of the early Renaissance. As time passed and he evolved as an artist, Bellini’s wide-reaching influence came to inform the maniera moderna inherited by Giorgione and Titian. His unparalleled ability to both harness the expressive power of light and recreate the poetry of natural landscapes became the foundational tenets of the Venetian school of painting for centuries to come.

This volume provides an accessible guide to Bellini’s work and the lasting influence of his career on Western European painting. Organized chronologically, the book maps the development of Bellini’s own craft alongside the greater technical experimentation of the Quattrocento, detailing the artist’s abandonment of traditional egg tempera technique for oil on canvas and taking into account the influence of contemporaries Andrea Mantegna and Antonello da Messina. Concise and up-to-date, this publication effectively conveys the magnitude of Bellini’s contributions to Western European painting in the wider context of the era.

By Peter Humfrey and Giovanni Bellini
288 pages
Published by Marsilio Editori, 2021