|aGiovanni Bellini :|bthe last works /|cDavid Alan Brown.
|a375 p. :|bill. (some col.) ;|c29 cm.
|aIncludes bibliographical references (p. 349-366) and index.
|aGiovanni Bellini (d. 1516) boasts a long career that left an indelible mark on Venetian painting. Vasari and other early writers failed to distinguish Bellini's late works from the rest of his output. Focused on Titian as the quintessential "old age" artist, subsequent writers have also paid little attention to Bellini's late work as a separate phase of his career. Bellini did not choose the subjects of his last pictures, which were stipulated by his patrons, but instead relied more and more on assistants; his decision to undertake and personally conceive and execute them points to a special commitment on his part to their creation. The Feast of the Gods (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC), dated 1514, and other works that follow it, display a much expanded range of subject matter and a new degree of inventiveness. New technical investigations have played a key role in grasping the novelty of Bellini's last works. The artist's great mythological canvas in Washington, in particular, has been the subject of a recent scientific investigation using the latest multi-spectral scanning technology. This study, undertaken by the scientific lab at the National Gallery of Art, marks a major advance in the technical analysis of works of art.
|aBellini, Giovanni,|d1426?-1516|xCriticism and interpretation
Bellini's last works, examined here in new scholarship, represent a triumphant swan songAn emblematic master painter of the Quattrocento, Giovanni Bellini remained active beyond that period and into the era now known as the High Renaissance. While his colleagues died or faded from view, Bellini, in the first decades of the 16th century, continued to be creatively vital: indeed, he flourished as never before.The six paintings Bellini made during his final years (1513–16) constitute a distinct group that differs significantly from his previous works in style, support, subject and mood. Their subjects were stipulated by his patrons, but in a period in which he relied more and more on assistants, Bellini’s decision to undertake and personally conceive and execute them points to a special commitment on his part to their creation. The Feast of the Gods at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and other works that follow it, such as the Woman with a Mirror in Vienna and the Drunkenness of Noah in Bensançon, display a greatly expanded range of subject matter and a new degree of inventiveness.New technical investigations have played a key role in grasping the novelty of Bellini’s last works. Recent scientific investigation at the National Gallery of Art marks a major advance in the technical analysis of works of art. And it literally sheds new light on The Feast of the Gods, allowing us to see more clearly than ever before images or motifs hidden below the paint surface. With an abundance of color plates, this book is the fruit of this research, and provides a deep dive into Bellini’s greatest, final, triumphant phase.Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430–1516) was one of the most influential Venetian artists of the Renaissance. He is celebrated for his pioneering portrayal of natural light, seen in such paintings as The Agony in the Garden, and for his altarpieces. His brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna, who may have influenced Bellini’s early works (Antonello da Messina, who visited him in 1475-76, is also considered a likely influence). Bellini’s career spanned 65 years; toward the end of his life, Dürer wrote of him that he “is very old and yet he is the best painter of all.”