Feast of the Gods
By Giovanni Bellini


Giovanni Bellini was the most important painter active in Venice in the late 15th Century.


Giovanni was born in Venice in 1430 where he was later raised by his mother and father, Jacopo Bellini and Anna Reversi. Giovanni's father, Jacopo, was also an Italian Renaissance artist. Jacopo was taught by Gentile du Fabriano. Jacopo later named his oldest son Gentile after his teacher, Gentile du Fabriano. Gentile Bellini later died on Febuary 23, 1507.

Giovanni also had a sister Niccolsa who married Andrea Mantegain. Andrea was also a Renaissance painter.

Before Giovanni became popular he was an apprentice in his father's workshop. Then later when Giovanni mastered painting he taught Giorgione and Titian who later outdid their own teacher. Then a little while later Giovanni died at the age of 86 in 1516. He was buried in Venice. A while after his death most of his greatest works were destroyed in a church fire in the year of 1577.


Giovanni had some very beautiful effects in the way he painted. His paintings have a hazy warm light. The colours are deep and glowing. Light and shade give the paintings a softening effect. He painted in oils.

Bellini painted a lot of religious scenes and he was a very good at landscapes. He brought painting to a new degree of realism. Bellini became one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance.

Bellini painted several famous pictures. Two of those pictures were The Agony in the Garden and The Crucifixion. He also painted The Virgin and Child with Two Saints and the Lamentation Over the Body of Christ. Two more paintings were The Feast of Gods and an altar piece he finished for his brother.


Bellini is remembered for the realistic landscapes and the harmony of light, colour, and mood.

Saint Francis in Ecstasy
Giovanni Bellini


1. "Bellini, Giovanni" Encyclopedia Britannica, 1985, vol. 2, pp. 76-78.

2. Canaday, John. The Lives of the Painters vol.1. New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.,1969, pp. 174-175, 177.

3. Canaday, John. The Lives of the Painters vol.4. New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.,1969, Plate 65.

4. Chase, Alice E. Famous Paintings. New York, Platt & Munk, p. 37.

This page was prepared by Jackie, Grade 8, Riverdale Junior Secondary School.