Giovanni Bellini

Giovanni Bellini

Giovanni Bellini
Giovanni Bellini
1430 - 1516

Place of Birth: Venice
Where Bellini Worked: Venice
Type of Art: Oil painting
Most Famous Artworks: Saint Francis In Ecstasy; San Zaccaria Altarpiece

Biography of Giovanni Bellini

Page Symbol for Artist pagesGiovanni Bellini was born in Venice, Italy c.1430. He was born into a family of painters and he worked in close relationship to all of them. His father was Jacopo Bellini and his brother was Gentile Bellini. Later, his brother-in-law, Andrea Montegano was to join, not only the family, but the family business. Not much is known about the Bellini family, other than the speculation that both Giovanni and Gentile probably started off as assistants to Jacopo.

Giovanni Bellini's earliest works were all done on tempera and his style had a great influence from his brother-in-law and fellow artist, Andrea Montegano. His works had religious feeling coupled with gentle humanity. He began to paint in oil around 1470 and continued in this medium thereafter.

In 1479 he started a commission to paint a group of great historical scenes for the Hall of the Great Council in Venice. These paintings were considered the best in his career, but have all been lost in a fire in 1577. Bellini not only used figures, but landscapes to express mood and meaning in his paintings.

Giovanni was also the master of an art studio, and two of his students were Titian and Giorgione. Titian was to rival and surpass his master.

Giovanni Bellini died in 1516, but his legacy to the world of art is that he revolutionized Venetian painting through experimentation with color and atmosphere through the medium of oil paint.

Artwork of Giovanni Bellini
(to see a larger version of the artwork below, just click on the picture)

Giovanni Bellini's The Feast of the Gods"
The Feast of The Gods

This was painted in 1514 and is now located in the National Gallery in Washington, DC.

Bellini's "San Zaccaria Altarpiece"
San Zaccaria Altarpiece

Painted in 1505, this is thought to be one of Bellini's finest works. Bellini painted this when he was 75 years of age. It resides in the church of San Zaccaria, Venice.

Bellini's "Le Christ Benissant" Christ's Blessing
Le Christ Benissant

Painted in 1465 - 1470, and located in the Louvre in Paris.

Bellini's "The Crucifixion"
The Crucifixion

Painted c.1455, and resides in the Museo Civico Correr in Venice.

Bellini's "Agony in the Garden"
The Agony in the Garden

This was painted between 1459 and 1465, and is now in the National Gallery in London.

Bellini's "Barbarigo Altarpiece"
Barbarigo Altarpiece

Painted in 1488, this is located in the church of San Pietro Martire, Murano.

Bellini's "St. Francis in Ecstasy"
St. Francis in Ecstasy

Painted c. 1480, and is in the Frick Collection in New York.

Madonna and Child paintings.


Page symbol for Artist pagesWhere Bellini's Artwork is Displayed

You can find Bellini's artwork at the following museums and galleries; he did much work at churches in northern Italy, especially in Venice:

- Accademia Gallery, Venice
- Correr Museum, Venice
- Doge's Palace, Venice
- San Zaccario church, Venice
- Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari Basilica, Venice
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence
- Borghese Gallery, Rome
- Brera Art Gallery, Milan, Italy
- Carrara Academy, Bergamo, Italy
- Civic Museums, Pesaro, Italy
- National Gallery, Washington DC
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- Frick Collection, New York
- Louvre, Paris
- National Gallery, London
- Prado, Madrid
- Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Page symbol for Artist pagesTrivia About Giovanni Bellini:

- Bellini's piece "The Agony in the Garden" bares some resemblance to a piece done by his brother-in-law, Andrea Montegna. Both pieces appear to be influenced by Bellini's father, Jacopo.

- Bellini had not finished his painting "The Feast of the Gods" before he died, so his former pupil Titian completed it. The piece is credited to Giovanni Bellini.


- Many of Giovanni Bellini' s paintings were lost in a fire in 1577. Some of these were universally admired and acclaimed while they were in existance.

- For a period, Giovanni served as conservator of paintings in the Great Hall of the Ducal Palace, where he would repair and restore paintings of other artists. For this he received and annual salary of 80 ducats.

- In 1507 Giovanni's brother, Gentile, died, and Giovanni undertook to complete his painting of Preaching of St. Mark in Alexandria.

Gentile Bellini's "Preaching of St. Mark in Alexandria"

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