(b. ca. 1400, Venezia, d. 1470, Venezia)

Madonna and Child

Tempera on canvas on panel, 50 x 45 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The painting has been cut down on the sides, with the loss of sections of the framing element. Dated and signed below, in mixed Gothic and Renaissance characters: "1448 HAS DEDIT INGENI (OSA) BELINUS MENTE FIGURAS." From the church of the Servites at Riviera di Casalfiumanese, Imola.

Jacopo Bellini was an "enlightened" late Gothic painter who reacted against the aestheticism of his contemporaries. He added new elements such as classical antiquities, perspective and drawing to his pictorial language. As a humanist Bellini did not go beyond the taste for antiquity. In perspective he adopted Tuscan revolutionary ideas as dogma. Although he understood the independent value of drawing, he did not see it as a method of research but as a means for systematic description. His paintings thus give a hybrid impression, as in this work which also seems to owe something to Fra Angelico.