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

Blessing Christ

c. 1460
Tempera on wood, 58 x 44 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This painting is usually identified with the "Portrait of the Saviour" mentioned in 1648 by Ridolfi in the Agostinian convent of Santo Stefano in Venice. On the one hand this Christ is still associated with the master's first works, marked by a pathetic resentment that would soon disappear to leave space for the elevated "classical" melancholy; on the other, Bellini demonstrates his capacity to juxtapose the suggestions of Mantegna's style and those generically Paduan post-Donatello influences with a concept of light that is not only extraordinary but emphatically personal.