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Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516)
Giovanni Bellini was a Venetian painter. His focus was on religious subjects. His most important contribution to art lay in his experimentation with the use of color and atmosphere in oil painting. Through the use of clear, slow-drying oil paints, Giovanni created deep, rich colors and detailed shadings. His sumptuous coloring and fluent, atmospheric landscapes had a great effect on Venetian painting school. When he died, he was chief painter to the state of Venice.
Piazza San Marco
Leonardo Loredan
Feast of the Gods
Joerg Fugger
Virgin and Child


Portrait of Joerg Fugger, 1474
10-1/4 x 7-7/8 in. (26 x 20 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation

Joerg Fugger was born into a wealthy German banking family in 1453. Depicted here at age twenty-one, he wears a garland in his hair which designates him as a student of ancient learning. This portrait is of great historical importance as it is Bellini's first known portrait and is one of the first paintings by an Italian artist using oil instead of tempera. The objective, realistic description of this youth is one of the earliest departures from the stiff, stylized, late Gothic tradition of portraiture.
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