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Word Count: 457
Giovanni Bellini like his brother Gentile Bellini began his career as an assistant in the studio of his father Jacopo Bellini His early work done in tempera reflected a confluence of Byzantine stiffness and the analytical precision of the Flemish Soon Bellini trained himself to become one of the early masters in the techniques of oil painting He was later influenced by Donatello and by the work of his sisters husband Andrea Mantegna By 1479 Bellini had succeeded his brother in executing a cycle of great historical scenes for the Chamber of the Grand Council in the Doges Palace Giovanni Bellinis six or seven canvases in the series acclaimed as among his masterpieces were destroyed in the Palace fire of 1577 The theme of Madonna and Child recurs frequently in Bellinis work Mariolina Olivari comments in Giovanni Bellini p 4 Bellinis paintings are characterized by a strange subtle tension that always binds the mother and child in a relationship of profound pathos One of Bellinis best works is said to be the Madonna and Child enthroned with SS Peter Catherine Luisa and Jerome painted in 1505 when he was about 75 years old The painting is in the Church of S Zaccaria Bellinis late work however is characterized by highly naturalistic landscapes In 1506 Bellinis brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna died after completing only one of four paintings commissioned by Cav Proc Francesco Cornaro Then Cornaro turned to Bellini to execute with his studio The Continence of Scipio said to be based on a drawing by Mantegna The painter and art historian Giorgio Vasari noted in 1568 that Giorgio Cornaro had in his collection at that time another of Giovanni Bellinis paintings Cena at Emaus This work although recorded in an engraving and several derivations by another artist has not survived In The Uffizi A Guide to the Gallery Umberto Fortis has noted that Bellini with his absorption of the achievements of the greatest masters of the
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