The Another

    Pride of place for Giovanni Bellini and a rich Venetian cocktail at Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris



    Many tourists visiting Venice think that Bellinis are cocktails – don’t mock them, they are right. And just like the famous peach and champagne drink, the family of painters who gave their name to it was made up of a complex blend of tastes: From the north and the south, with Antonello of Messina, whose stay in Venice between 1474 and 1476 had a determining influence on their workshop; with antiquity and breathtaking perspectives from Andrea Mantegna; and from the East and Constantinople – homeland of the icon – where Gentile Bellini was sent by Venice on an official mission to paint the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Mehmed II’s portrait.

    In an exhibition aptly subtitled “Cross influences”, the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris aims to present all these different elements in an exhibition organized by the in-house curator Pierre Curie, and his colleague Neville Rowley from the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin. There are 43 paintings, three sculptures and one drawing by various artists. But the main focus is on around 25 works by Gentile’s half-brother, Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516).

    Giovanni was the illegitimate son of Jacopo (1400-1470), who was head of the workshop where his other son Gentile (1429-1507) also worked. His sister, Nicolosia, married Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506). Mantegna came from neighboring Padua, where he learned from his master Francesco Squarcione to revere antiquity, especially the Roman statues, which in 15th century Italy were constantly being plowed up, and which Squarcione passionately collected and studied.

    Read more Paris gallery selection: Megan Rooney at the Thaddaeus Ropac, William S. Burroughs at the Semiose

    In the tradition of the Byzantine icon

    Although Jacopo worked for a long time in the tradition of the Byzantine icon, he abandoned the typical golden backgrounds and replaced them with landscapes. He mostly painted in tempera, an egg-based medium. His sons learned the new technique of oil painting from Antonello of Messina, who had learned it from the Flemish painters Petrus Christus and perhaps Hans Memling, and which in an eponymous 1970s TV series called “Le secret des Flamands” (“The secret of Flemish painters”). The exhibition shows a painting by Van Eyck “and his studio” (as qualified by the exhibition label) and seven Memling paintings (six of them very small) as examples.

    The exhibition juxtaposes works showing the two techniques of tempera and oil, which gives an idea of ​​the qualities of the latter.

    Read more Article reserved for our subscribers Ramses takes over Paris in exhibition exploring the great pharaoh’s kingdom

    As it is slow drying and allows successive layers to be built up in transparent glazes, oil painting is more precise, softer and luminous. The exhibition juxtaposes works showing the two techniques of tempera and oil. A comparison of two paintings of Christ on the Cross both by Giovanni, one in the old manner and the other in the new, gives an idea of ​​the qualities of oil painting, which would be adopted by the majority of artists in the following centuries. Little by little, we can see the Bellinis developing what would become one of the characteristics of Venetian painting, and typical of Giorgione and Titian.

    You have 42.52% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

    Source link