Venetian School. Son of Jacopo and younger brother of Gentile Bellini. Pupil of Gentile da Fabriano and at first influenced by Andrea Mantegna, his brother-in-law, though afterwards adopting ” the modern treatment ” in the use of oil, and developing a fine individuality.
LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY.
PORTRAIT OF THE DOGE LEONARDO LOREDANO Full face. A bust portrait in state robes and corno ducale.
Signed on a cartellino on the parapet at the bottom of the canvas. Probably painted in 2505.
“This remarkable portrait is a singular instance of the skill with which Bellini could seize and embellish nature, reproduce the flexibility of flesh in a soft and fused golden tone, and venture at the same time into every line of detail.” (C. and C.)
CHRIST ON THE MOUNT. In the foreground of a wide landscape which rises at the back in gentle slopes Christ kneels to right, His back turned to us, on a mass of rock, while still nearer to us are the three disciples asleep, on the left. In the flat middle distance are the small figures of Judas and the Jews. High up in the warm evening sky is seen an angel holding a cup.
This and No. 1233 are among Bellini’s earliest works, and were formerly attributed to Mantegna and Vivarini respectively.
Purchased at the sale of the collection of the Rev. W. BromleyDavenport in 1863.
THE BLOOD OF THE REDEEMER: On a terrace paved with squares of black and white marble the risen Saviour stands with His left arm encircling the cross, on which hangs the crown of thorns, the left hand pressing the wound in His side, the right being extended with open palm, as though indicating that His blood is freely given for the redemption of mankind. A little kneeling angel receives the blood in a chalice. The background is a sombre landscape at early dawn.
Purchased from Mr. C. Fairfax Murray in 1887,
THE SAN GIOBBE ALTAR-PIECE. The Virgin enthroned, with the Child seated on her right knee, between St. Dommic, St. Sebastian, and St. Augustine on the right, and St. Francis, St. Job, and St. John the Baptist on the left. The throne is of marble, and set high on a base in a domed recess backed by a plain curtain. At the base of the throne are three young angel musicians, two on the lower step, the other above and between them with a very large lute. St. Francis and St. Dominic are in monk’s habits; the aged St. Job and the youthful St. Sebastian are nude, save for loin cloths.
Painted for the Chapel of San Giobbe at Venice, probably in 1486.
“This beautiful production still appears to combine all the qualities for which Bellini might up to this time have claimed praise-appropriate and dignified composition, noble character, elevated feeling, and chastened design.” (C. and C.)
THE MADONNA WITH THE TWO TREES. A half-length figure of the Virgin holding the Child with both hands round His body as He stands at her right shoulder, with His feet on a stone ledge. She is in a plain crimson mantle falling over her head and shoulders, and showing a white veil at the neck. Behind her is a flat green cloth, on either side of which is seen a tall tree in a distant landscape. The light is from the left, and casts a slight shadow on the cloth.
Signed and dated 1487, though this date may be too early.
“Bellini certainly never so completely combined relief with transparence, or golden tinge of flesh with rich and tasteful harmony of tints. By dint of perseverance he had succeeded in losing all trace of hardness, and acquired what may be called the Giorgionesque touch.” (C. and C.)
THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH ST. PAUL AND ST. GEORGE. Half-length figures standing behind a parapet of red marble at the foot of the canvas. The Virgin, full face, holds the Child with both hands on her right side as He stands facing us on the parapet. On the left is St. Paul grasping the hilt of a large sword, and on the right St. George in armour holding a lance. Behind the Virgin is a red curtain. Signed on a cartellino on the parapet.
THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH CHERUBIM. A half-length figure of the Virgin behind a marble parapet, turned slightly to the right, holding the Child in both arms. In the sky are six red Cherubim. Landscape background.