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

Triptych of St Sebastian

Tempera on panel
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The church Santa Maria della Carità in Venice was reconstructed in the middle of the 15th century. Various chapels were erected between 1460 and 1464 by noble families. Four chapels were decorated by altarpieces which are now associated with Jacopo Bellini and his sons: the St Sebastian Triptych in the St Sebastian Chapel; the St Lawrence Triptych in the Chapel of Lorenzo Dolfin; the Nativity Triptych in the Chapel of Andrea da Molin; the Madonna Triptych in the Chapel of Giacomo Zorzi. The four triptychs can still be seen in the church of the Carità, for which they were painted, now incorporated into the Gallerie dell'Accademia.

The St Sebastian Triptych consists of a lunette (59 x 170 cm) representing the Annunciation; the left panel (127 x 48 cm) representing St John the Evangelist; the central panel (103 x 45 cm) representing St Sebastian; the right panel (103 x 45 cm) representing St Anthony Abbot.

The triptych of the chapel of St Sebastian was commissioned by Zaccaria Vitturini. It also shows the influence of the vibrant energy of Donatello and the rigorous plasticity of Mantegna, made softer and more natural by Bellini's use of colour.