Bellini, Giovanni (ca. 1431–1516)

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Bellini, Giovanni (ca. 14311516)

Considered the master of Venice Renaissance painting, Giovanni is the brother of Gentile Bellini and the son of Jacopo Bellini. He began painting in his father's workshop and was hired to work with his brother at the School of San Marco.

Bellini was hired by the Doge of Venice to manage the artwork and decoration of the ducal palace. He worked to preserve and restore paintings within the palace and painted an original series celebrating the history of medieval wars between the Holy Roman emperors and the popes. Bellini also executed many famous, richly detailed altarpieces in churches in Venice and Vicenza. Working in the new medium of oil paints, he was able to infuse a wider range of color and to shade one hue carefully into the next. A master of landscape art, Bellini added lush and beautifully detailed natural scenes as backgrounds to his subjects, a talent that was widely copied in the Venetian school and in particular by the painters Titian and Giorgione.