, illustrious family of Venetian painters of the Renaissance.
, c.1400–1470, was a pupil of Gentile da Fabriano. He worked in Padua, Verona, Ferrara, and Venice. Many of his greatest paintings, including the enormous
for the Cathedral of Verona, have disappeared. Several of his Madonnas (Uffizi Louvre Academy, Venice) are still extant. Jacopo's sketches in two notebooks (Louvre and British Mus.) are his most important legacy. They reveal a variety of interests, including problems of perspective, landscapes, and antiquity.
jāntē´lā [key], 1429–1507, studied with him and with
, working in Padua and then in Venice. He excelled in portraiture and in depicting ceremonial processions. His paintings, such as
The Procession in the Piazza of San Marco
The Miracle of the True Cross
(both: Academy, Venice), are valued for their faithful representation of contemporary Venetian life. In 1479 Gentile was sent by the state to the court of Muhammad II in Constantinople. Subsequently a Middle Eastern flavor appeared in several of his paintings, including the portrait of Muhammad II (National Gall., London) the portrait of a Turkish artist (Gardner Mus., Boston) and
St. Mark Preaching at Alexandria
The last was completed by his brother,
jōvän´nē [key], c.1430–1516, who was first active in Padua where he worked with his father and brother. Also influenced by Mantegna, who became his brother-in-law in 1454, Giovanni painted the
Agony in the Garden
(National Gall., London), the
(Correo Mus., Venice), and several Madonnas (Philadelphia Mus. and Metropolitan Mus.). Whereas Mantegna and Jacopo and Gentile Bellini were known chiefly as admirable draftsmen, Giovanni developed another style. His sumptuous coloring and fluent, atmospheric landscapes had a great effect upon Venetian painting, especially upon his pupils
. He created several imposing altarpieces best known are those of the Frari and San Zaccaria in Venice and the
(now in the Academy, Venice). Other examples of his art are several fine portraits such as the
(National Gall., London). He painted
St. Francis in the Desert
(Frick Coll., New York City) and
(National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.), as well as some allegorical fantasies such as the
series (Academy, Venice). He also created mythological scenes, including
The Myth of Orpheus
The Feast of the Gods
(both: National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.). The zestful
one of his last pictures, was painted in 1514 for Isabella d'Este, with finishing touches added by Titian.
See G. Robertson,
(1968) H. Tietze,
The Drawings of the Venetian Painters
(1944, repr. 1970).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: European Art to 1599: Biographies