In the Spring of 2023, for the first time in France, the Musée Jacquemart-André pays tribute to the work of the great master Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1435-1516), father of the Venetian School to which his pupils Giorgione and Titian belonged. Giovanni Bellini opened the way to the art of colour and tones that came to be characteristic of the art of the sixteenth century in Venice.
Through some fifty works from public and private European collections - some of which are presented for the first time - this exhibition highlights the art of Giovanni Bellini and the artistic influences on his pictorial language. By comparing his works with those of his intellectual models, the first exhibition ever devoted to this theme in Europe shows how his artistic language has never ceased to renew itself while developing an undeniable originality. The exhibition is organised chrono-thematically, with Bellini’s paintings as the common thread, and is put in dialogue with the ‘models’ that inspired them.
Born into a family of artists, Giovanni Bellini frequented, with his brother Gentile, the studio of their father, Jacopo Bellini, a painter of Gothic training who soon mastered the principles of Florentine Renaissance art. The young artist immersed himself in the art alongside his father, brother and his brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna, whom his sister Nicolosia had just married. Classicism, sculptural forms, and a good command of Mantegna’s perspective had a great influence on the artist. His work became more monumental as a result of studying the works of Donatello, which were visible in Padua.
Bellini’s style took a different direction with the arrival in Venice of Antonello da Messina, who joined the Flemish taste for detail with the spatial constructions of the artists of central Italy. From Flemish art, Giovanni borrowed the technique of oil painting, bringing a new aesthetic inflection to his work. The Byzantine art, and more particularly the Byzantine Madonnas, was another source of inspiration for his representations of Virgins with Child. He also developed themes that had been depicted by younger painters, such as topographical landscapes inspired by Cima da Conegliano. Bellini’s latter period was characterised by more vibrant but highly modern strokes. In a unique way, it was the innovations of his best pupils—in particular, Giorgione and Titian—that pushed the older Bellini to reinvent his style.
By presenting Bellini’s oeuvre and his artistic context, this exhibition gives you a better understanding of the way in which his pictorial language consisted of correspondences and an interplay of influences, which he skillfully synthesised through the mastery of colour and light. The exhibition benefits from exceptional loans from the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, in addition to loans from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the Museo Correr, the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum in Milan, the Petit Palais in Paris, and the Louvre Museum, as well as numerous loans from private collections of works some of which have never before been shown to the public.
With exceptional loans from the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin
Neville Rowley is a curator of fourteenth and fifteenth-century Italian painting and sculpture at the Gemäldegalerie and the Bode Museum in Berlin. Holding a doctorate in art history from the Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), he has worked and taught at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Villa Medici (Rome), the Ecole du Louvre (Paris), the Unicamp (Campinas), and Essec (Cergy). He has mainly published works on the art of the Quattrocento and has curated several exhibitions, including ‘Mantegna & Bellini’ (London and Berlin, 2018–19) and ‘Donatello. Inventeur de la Renaissance’ (Berlin, 2022–23).
Pierre Curie is a Chief Heritage Curator. A specialist in seventeenth-century Italian and Spanish painting, he also studied nineteenth-century French painting at the Musée du Petit Palais, where he began his career as a curator. Subsequently in charge of painting in the Inventaire Général, he co-wrote and compiled the work Vocabulaire Typologique et Technique de la Peinture et du Dessin (published in 2009). Appointed head of the painting section in the restoration department of the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France in 2007, he has coordinated several major restorations of paintings in French national museums (Léonard de Vinci, Titian, Rembrandt, Poussin, etc.). Pierre Curie has been the curator of the Musée Jacquemart-André since January 2016 and co-curator of its exhibitions.
Hubert le Gall is a French designer, artist, and contemporary art sculptor. He has created original scenographies for many exhibitions, and in particular for the Musée Jacquemart-André for the following exhibitions: ‘Inside Rembrandt’s World’ (2016), ‘From Zurbarán to Rothko. The Alicia Koplowitz Collection’ (2017), ‘The Hansens’ Secret Garden. The Ordrupgaard Collection’ (2017), ‘Mary Cassatt: an American Impressionist in Paris’ (2018), ‘Caravaggio’s Period in Rome: his Friends and Enemies’ (2018), ‘Hammershøi, the Great Master of Danish Painting’ (2019), ‘The Alana Collection’ (2019), ‘Turner: Paintings and Watercolours From the Tate’s Collections’ (2020), ‘Signacand Colour Harmonies’ (2021), ‘Botticelli: Artist and Designer’ (2021), ‘Gallen-Kallela’ (2022), and ‘Fuseli: the Realm of Dreams and the Fantastic’ (2022).
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For visitors with a smartphone, download the visit application on your mobile now and enjoy 2 tours: "Permanent Collection" and "Temporary Exhibition".
- The "permanent collection tour" includes a guided tour lasting 1hr15, 18 points of interest, some 20 descriptions of works and several thematic distractions guide you as you discover the museum's setting and its finest works. Free tour.
- The "temporary exhibition tour" offers a guided tour of the exhibition with the commentary on 20 works of art. Paid tour 2,49 €.