Distributed for Reaktion Books
The artist struggled to break out of the long shadow cast by his accomplished father Jacopo and father-in-law Andrea Mantegna, and Bätschmann chronicles Bellini’s development of distinct aesthetic and painting techniques that enabled him to set himself apart. Bellini also insisted on choosing his own subjects and themes, independent of the preferences of his patron Isabella d’Este, and thus set new standards for the role of the artist.
Anchoring the analysis are a wealth of vibrant color reproductions that include such famous works as The Feast of the Gods and Madonna and Child, as well as photographs of Bellini’s lauded altar-pieces at the churches of San Giobbe, Murano, and San Zaccania. Drawing on these masterpieces, Bätschmann argues that Bellini’s artistry and skillful blending of colors created a new aesthetic more akin to music than to previous approaches to painting. And by leading viewers to understand this subtle, refined sensibility, Bellini transformed them into knowledgeable admirers of art.
A lushly illustrated and expansive study, Giovanni Bellini is essential for all historians and admirers of Renaissance art.
“This splendid monograph is a thoughtful and carefully reasoned presentation of Bellini's career as an artist, with ancillary discussions of contemporary Venetian painting. Bätschmann has amassed an extraordinary amount of information—historical, stylistic, bibliographical—in a generally chronological presentation of Bellini's career that covers not only the artist's life and production, but also reconstructions of some of his lost works and references to others that were critical in establishing the artist's reputation . . . This book will interest not only students of Bellini, but also those who wish to understand the motivating factors in the history of Venetian Renaissance painting. Recommended.”