Giovanni was born into a family of artists, and transformed Venetian painting through the development of light, creating a new and serene luminosity made possible by the adoption of oil painting, introduced into Italy by Antonello da Messina (ca. 1430–1479). Now paint could be built up in layers, called glazes, to produce more vivid effects of transparency and atmosphere. Bellini’s immediate successor was Giorgione (1477–1510) who adapted his mellow atmospheric effects to a more relaxed and humanistic high renaissance style.
Books on Giovanni Bellini
Caroline Campbell, ed., Mantegna & Bellini, exh. cat., London, 2018.
Johannes Grave, trans. Cynthia Hall, Giovanni Bellini: The Art of Contemplation, Munich, 2018.
Davide Gasparotto, ed., Giovanni Bellini: Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice, Los Angeles, 2017.
Mauro Lucco, Giovanni Bellini, exh. cat., Milan, 2008.
Anchise Tempestini, Giovanni Bellini, Milan, 1997.
Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artist, 1550, trans. Julia Conway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella, New York, 2009.