Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna and Child: An Analysis
In the early fifteenth to mid sixteenth centuries, Italy was divided into several political sections. These political areas housed some of the most notable Italian Renaissance painters. During this era, Europe was gaining new technology and knowledge in the world of philosophy and mathematics which began to challenge the thinking that man’s relationship with God and the universe revolved around the church. In Italy, the wealth brought in from the Medici family’s success in trading gave way to a new patronage for the arts, one not associated with the Church or Monarchy. The development of oil paint was also a key component to Renaissance painting. The new medium allowed artist such as Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Bellini, and Titian to paint what inspired them in a new perspective. Many Renaissance paintings focus on the details of nature and anatomy, the study of light and the study of linear perspective. On the other hand, works relating to or commissioned by the Catholic Church were also extremely popular and widely produced throughout Italy. The understanding of perspective and light gave Renaissance artists a new tool for creating reality in their paintings. Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna and Child is a perfect example of these core ideas of Renaissance painting. Its religious subject matter and detailed portrayal of nature clearly delineate this painting as High Renaissance.
Giovanni Bellini came from a strong family of artists. His father, brother and brother-in-law were all important artists however; Bellini was the one to be chosen as the official painter to the government of Venice. His early work consisted of tempera paintings but his determination to learn how to work with oil paints led him to be one of the earliest masters of this technique. Bellini frequently produced oil paintings with the theme of Madonna and Child. Mariolina Olivari...