BELLINI, Giovanni
(b. ca. 1426, Venezia, d. 1516, Venezia)

Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels (Pietà)

c. 1460
Tempera on panel, 74 x 50 cm
Museo Correr, Venice

The painting bears at the bottom in the middle the spurious date of 1499 and the similarly spurious initials of Albrecht Dürer. The work in fact was attributed to Dürer until the end of the 19th century. It is a still fully Mantegnesque work, and datable to well before the date inscribed, possibly to around 1460. The bold line reaches its greatest tension in the draping of the loin-cloth and the abandoned hands of Christ: such is the insistence of the outlines and the subtle and hard emphasis of the shaded areas that it recalls the stone-like linear severity of the Ferrarese artists.