In the second half of the 1400s, Venice was a city at the height of her powers. Trading links with the East filled the city with merchants, travellers, opulent luxury goods and money to lavish on buildings and artworks. The Bellini family were an important part of the city’s artistic fabric. Father Jacopo has left us exquisite volumes of drawings; a truly rare survival from the mid-fifteenth century. His elder son, Gentile, created panoramas of the city of Venice, alive with incident and colour and masquerading as religious paintings, while his younger son, Giovanni, is famed for luminous images of the Madonna and Child, set against light-filled Veneto landscapes.
This talk explores the city and the family, through their work and that of their contemporaries, and shows how the richness and delicacy of Giovanni Bellini’s paintings influenced the artists of the Venetian Golden Age.