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

Madonna and Child with St John the Baptist and a Saint

Oil on panel, 54 x 76 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The work was certainly executed before 1504, since Previtali repeats the figure of the Baptist in one of his dated paintings (in the National Gallery, London). It is one of the artist's loftiest and most beautiful Sacred Conversations, on the one hand embodying the still 15th century idea of a separation between the figures and the landscape behind (the communion of the two would be achieved with the Madonna of the Meadow some years later), though at the same time characterized by a landscape that is laid out in the realization of a unitary naturalistic vision with limpid atmospheric values.