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

Madonna and Child Blessing

c. 1455
Tempera on wood, 94 x 66 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Jacopo Bellini, who had perhaps worked as an assistant to Gentile da Fabriano in Florence in 1423, interpreted the laws of linear perspective and plastic form adopted by the Tuscan artists working in Padua in a spirit which was in effect still Gothic. He had frequent contact with the Tuscan artists working in Padua, where in fact in 1453 his daughter Nicolosia married Andrea Mantegna. He shows a predilection in his paintings for the musical linear rythms and the bright range of colors typical of the International Gothic style and at times for a grave Byzantine solemnity though this latter is compositionally more spacious in his version. A typical example of this tendency towards archaism is the Madonna and Child Blessing where an impenetrable ground of small cherubs' heads etched in gold forms the base for the image.

The painting is signed on the original frame: OPUS.JACOBI.BELLINI.VENETI.