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Dynasty of artists of Bellini

The Bellini Dynasty (father of Jacopo Bellini and his sons Gentile and Giovanni) laid the foundations of Renaissance art in Venice. The Bellini family is always remembered when it comes to the Venetian school of painting or the Early Renaissance. This is a dynasty of artists, each of whom developed in his own style, but all of them are united by brilliant talent, craving for beauty and a desire to reflect it on canvas.

Jacopo Bellini (1400-1470) – one of the oldest masters of Venice and a brilliant draftsman, was a student of Gentile da Fabriano, one of the leading artists of the beginning of the 15th century (in his honor Jacopo named his eldest son, Gentile). In addition, Jacopo was a passionate traveler who took albums with him and captured the beauty of the places visited, preserving the sketch and drawings for future masterpieces. Jacopo Bellini’s favorite subjects are animals, unique places, people in the town square, magnificent stairs and palaces. On top of everything, Jacopo Bellini was perhaps the most significant master, in whose work the medieval manner of depiction was inferior to a new view of the world – and this was the beginning of the Renaissance.

His two sons continued the dynasty of painters, this is how the Italian writer Giorgio Vasari wrote about Jacopo: “And so that the name that he won in his paintings not only remains, but also grows in his house and in his offspring, fate rewarded him two sons, who had the greatest penchant for art and excellent and excellent talent. One of them was called Giovanni, and the other was Gentile. ” When Jacopo left work, each of his sons separately continued to pursue his own art. Jacopo’s third child, the daughter of Nicolosia, married a representative of the Padua school of painting, Andrea Mantegna, who, in turn, influenced his wife’s brothers. With their talent, Jacopo, Giovanni and Gentile gave birth to the beginning of the world’s greatest golden age of Venetian art.

Gentile Bellini (1429-1507), the eldest son of Jacopo Bellini, became the founder of historical Venetian painting, best known for his portraits and scenes of Venice. Gentile took over his love of travel from his father, and in one of his creative trips he managed to paint an excellent portrait of the Turkish sultan. In 1479, the Duke of Venice sent him to Constantinople as an artist at the court of Sultan Mehmed II. The most important of the surviving works written there is the Portrait of Muhammad II (c. 1480).

At home, he also showed his talent for portraiture, painted portraits of Venetian eminent citizens, doges and aristocrats. Being a wonderful landscape painter, he found more and more beautiful shades of Venice and masterfully displayed the landscape. Small churches, rural farms and undulating hills are attractive to his artistic gaze. In his portrait of The Sitting Scribe (1479–80), Gentile uses a flat ornament similar to the Turkish miniature style that he inspired during his trip to Constantinople. This trip influenced later works (“Portrait of the Doge Giovanni Mocenigo”, “Portrait of Queen Katerina Cornaro”). Gentile’s The Annunciation is especially significant (the scene in which Archangel Gabriel broadcasts the holy news to Mary). The artist paid considerable attention to a detailed description of the architecture that surrounds the two main figures. Maria is kneeling to the right, her hands are shown in a prayer position. It is located in a spacious portico, decorated on the outside with a decorative entablature with floral ornaments, and thin columns.
During his life, Gentile was more famous and popular for his picturesque talent than his brother, Giovanni. However, in modern times, everything has changed. Giovanni Bellini is recognized as one of the iconic figures of Venetian art.
Giovanni Bellini
Giovanni Bellini (1430 – 1516). If his brother, Gentile, developed his talent towards historical painting, then Giovanni Bellini was one of the first to breathe life and liveliness into his paintings – he sought not only to describe the place, but also to masterfully convey the mood and accompanying emotions. He lived and worked in Venice all his life, and his career as an artist lasted a long 65 years. Giovanni is known for his innovative depiction of natural light, delicate and graceful portraits of the Virgin and graceful altar figures. It was no accident that Albrecht Dürer, while in Venice in 1506, wrote that Giovanni “is very old, and yet he is the best artist of all,” and the leading British art critic Jonathan Jones even called the Venetian master a rival to Leonardo da Vinci himself.

Giovanni’s complex paintings were a measure for evaluating the paintings of other artists of Venice. In both artistic and secular senses, Bellini’s life was generally very prosperous. His long career began with the Quattrocento styles, but grew into the progressive styles of the Late Renaissance. He lived to see his own school, far superior to the schools of his colleagues (for example, Vivarini from Murano).

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