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Jacopo Bellini | Led the Renaissance into Northern Italy

Jacopo Bellini, Italian Renaissance Painter

Madonna and Child
Jacopo Bellini
1448, Tempera on canvas on panel,
50 x 45 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

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Venetian painter, Jacopo Bellini (c.1400-1470), was head of a family of painters including sons Gentile and Giovanni. An apprentice to International Gothic style painter to Gentile da Fabriano, Bellini's productive years were mostly spent in Venice. He probably visited Florence in the 1420s with Fabriano, and surfaced in Ferrara in 1441 where he won a painting competition against Pisanello to paint a portrait of the Duke of Ferrara.

Few of Jacopo Bellini's works survive today, and those that do reflect the Gothic style. However, there are drawings in notebooks in the Louvre (Paris) and British Museums (London) which demonstrate his Interest in the new Renaissance perspective device showing rich narrative detail and fantasy architecture. Jacopo Bellini is lauded as a forerunner of the Renaissance in Northern Italy.

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

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