The Art of Contemplation
This lavish examination of Giovanni Bellini’s oeuvre offers a beautifully illustrated overview of the great Renaissance painter’s entire career.
Following the arc of Bellini’s career, from his early devotional paintings to his later, occasionally secular works, this book offers an in-depth appreciation of the Venetian master who dominated the Early Renaissance. Featuring nearly every extant Bellini work, as well as those of his contemporaries, this book brims with gorgeous Renaissance art. Author Johannes Grave focuses on some of the artist’s greatest works including Allegoria Sacra, the Brera Pietà, and the altarpiece of San Giobbe—to explore how Bellini excelled in tempera before mastering oil painting. Grave discusses how Bellini’s precise lines, his delicate facial expressions, and the subtle effects of light and shadow were used in his religious paintings as well as his portraiture and late mythological depictions. This book examines Bellini’s life, including his complex relationships with his father Jacopo, his brother Gentile, and his brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna. It considers the original contexts of Bellini’s works, and elucidates the ways in which these paintings were meant to be perceived. The book also links Bellini’s devotional paintings with the poetic creations of his pupil Giorgione. An important contribution to the scholarship of Renaissance art, this masterful book reaffirms Bellini’s status as one of Venice’s greatest painters.
Included in the Sunday Times' »Best Art Books of 2018«
Johannes Grave is a professor of art history at the University of Bielefeld, Germany. He has published works on the painting of the Early Renaissance and previously wrote Caspar David Friedrich (Prestel).