Early Italian renaissance ideas of realism and pictorial space developed in Florence but spread rapidly across Italy as the city’s most sought-after artists were hired to work outside their home town. The marriage of Andrea Mantegna to Nicolosia, the daughter of the Venetian artist Jacopo Bellini, meant that the ideas of the Florentine sculptor Donatello, whose work Mantegna had seen in Padua, were discussed and taken up by the Bellini family workshop in Venice, in particular by his brother-in-law and friend Giovanni Bellini.
Neither artist stopped at mere emulation. In 1460, Mantegna moved to Mantua where he occupied the post of court painter to the ruling Gonzaga family until his death aged 75 in 1506. Bellini, who died 10 years later aged 86, spent his entire career in Republican Venice. Despite the distance between them, their work provides evidence of a continuing creative artistic exchange as both continued to develop new ideas well into old age.
In time for the upcoming National Gallery exhibition Mantegna and Bellini, art historian Julia Musgrave looks at how brothers-in-law can become brothers in art and explores the quietly revolutionary influence of a family of Venetian artists.
Morning event with coffee and pastries.
In time for the upcoming National Gallery exhibition Mantegna and Bellini (1 October 2018 - 27 January 2019)
Find out more about Julia Musgrave