View Full Version : Bellini, Giorgione, Titian

08-18-2006, 09:38 PM
For your pleasure classical fans :)

Anita too, I hope you get here while in DC

National Gallery of Art

interactive tech photos


pdf excerpt of Venetian painting methods


In English or Italian~ your choice

Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting at the National Gallery of Art Washington
June 18–September 17, 2006


regards Nickel

Anita Murphy
08-18-2006, 11:31 PM
Nickel - I hope I will too, its on my list of places to go with the girls from WC who are coming to meet me here.

08-18-2006, 11:42 PM
Super Anita! I wish I was there with you all!
Have fun! :)

08-19-2006, 04:02 PM
Hi Nickel

These are really interesting links- many thanks. I love the one with the X-rays that you can see the painting progress

Great post- nice to see that even the old masters had corrections to make!


08-19-2006, 05:20 PM
That's a fascinating link, Nickel! Thanks for letting us know!

Barb Solomon:cat:

08-19-2006, 06:31 PM
HI Ryan & Barb, glad you liked the show. :)
I wish paintings came together as fast as that slide thingy....:)
Pretty awesome to play with.

I liked how the pdf article comfirmed Vasari's text. Cool!

08-20-2006, 02:35 AM
AaaacK! Bellini, Giorgione, Titian! These three names immediately grabbed my attention as memories of their works have been flittering around my brain since my Blitzkrieg tour of museums in New York and Washington just some 3 weeks ago. The true reason for the visit was my desire to see the Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the Hirschhorn (Aaaack! Aaaack!:eek: A Modernist... nay, a Post-Modernist is among ye!:lol:). While this exhibition confirmed my admiration and respect for Kiefer as one of the true contemporary masters... and an incredibly powerful artist, I must admit that his works were not the ones which impacted me most upon this trip. It was indeed Bellini, Giorgione, and Titian (as well as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, and Bonnard) who most stuck in my mind. I plan upon a second visit to the the National Gallery and the exhibition of these great Venetians with my wife and daughter, before the show ends in mid-September.

I must admit that I knew something of this Venetian show... enough to know that the great Titian?/Giorgione? "Fete Champetre" would be on view (borrowed from the Louvre):


Beyond this brilliant painting of atmosphere... humidity... warmth... I also knew that the National Gallery's own brilliant Giorgione "Adoration of the Magi" would be there (one of my absolute favorite paintings... I had a poster of this on my bedroom wall while I was still a teenager:o):


I must admit that in close examination of this painting I am stunned by the similarity with the work of early Titian... but more so, of Bellini. One must wonder how closely these masters worked, or how much they influenced each other.

A third Giorgione, the so-called "Three Philosophers" surprised and enthralled me. It was a work of stunning color... a stained glass painting. Giorgione's early demise is surely one of the greatest losses ever suffered in the visual arts.


Other highlights included the Giorgione/Bellini/Titian painting, "The Feast of the Gods":


... which was paired with it's sister painting, Titian's "The Andrians", both of which were gloriously cleaned and restored to their original brilliant colors:


Of course there were several other lovely Titians... including the National Gallery's own "Venus with Mirror"...:


... which undoubtedly acted as a source of inspiration for two more of art history's greatest "Venuses" by two of art history's greatest painters:



As fine as the Venetian paintings in the National Gallery were, I don't think that any compared with the overwhelming impact felt from one in New York. I hadn't been to the Frick Museum for years. For anyone who has not visited it, it is undoubtedly one of (if not THE) finest private collection(s) ever amassed. The collection includes Rembrandt's "Polish Rider", two Veronese allegories, several gorgeous Velazquezes, a couple of Vermeers, two huge and stunning Turners, a fabulous Ingres, Holbein's great "Portrait of Thomas More", and much, much more. The painting which absolutely floored me, however, was Bellini's "Saint Francis in Ecstasy". The painting was much larger than I had remembered and absolutely stunning. The color (which does not show in any image I've found on-line) was brilliant.


The sky glowed in a lapis-lazuli blue while the incredible greens of the plant life countered this and both played off the predominant earth tones. The entire painting had a feeling of a limpid, crystal-clear sky... a day when one can see for miles. It was a bit "hyper-realistic"... although certainly not in the Modernist sense. One could look at nearly any area of the canvas and be enthralled with a fabulous bit of landscape or a still-life worthy of the greatest artists in those genre. While the work reminded me obviously of Giorgione's "Adoration..." I also thought of the paintings by another master of the "hyper-real": Jan van Eyck. This is perhaps not a stretch. There is much suggestive of Bellini's painting in Van Eyck's "St. Francis Recieving the Stigmata", and the Venetian/Flemish connection has been well established, with many great Flemish paintings to be found in Venetian collections... and of course the Northern concepts of oil painting inspiring the Venetians (perhaps through Da Messina):


If anyone has the chance to see the show in Washington... or the Frick... I would advise them: DO NOT MISS IT!:wave:

08-20-2006, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the virtual art show, David! These artists are truly incredible.

I saw Titian’s “Bacchus and Ariadne” in London many years ago but the image has stayed in my mind ever since. It was such an incredible painting. Since then, I have had a fondness for the whole series of four paintings for Alfonso I d'Este.

It is too bad that I won’t be able to go. This would be such a memorable show.

Barb Solomon:cat:

08-20-2006, 06:00 PM
Wow- Thanks david

What a great post- some fantastic paintings there! I can't see the show but thanks for giving us less fortunate a slice of the pizza! The mirror paintings are lovely- you can definitely see continuing influence of the masters when they are compared side by side like this


08-20-2006, 06:14 PM
So many of these shows have a catalog that is published with them. Does anyone know if this show has a catalog?

There's just no way that I could make to this show, but it would be worth it to at least get the catalog!



08-20-2006, 06:32 PM
Very interesting, informative links Nickel. Thank you.

08-20-2006, 11:01 PM
David, interesting story, will be nice to hear about your visit when you return.
Enjoyed the pictures very much! Thanks!

Barb, they have a softcover book, 45.00 usd.
I think the pdf is a 9 page sample.

Your welcome Luke, glad you enjoyed the link! :)

08-20-2006, 11:19 PM
David - I'm really looking forward to hearing about your trip!

Nickel - Oh goody! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Barb Solomon:cat:

08-23-2006, 01:03 PM
Can't stay out of the used book store, so next few days will be reading
The Golden Century of Venetian Painting.
$3.00 so ....:) will see if I can find something to entice you all about these painters.


08-23-2006, 02:55 PM
What a neat book to find! Who wrote it? How are the pictures? Are they small, or big full page and nice for using to copy? Let us know, if it is interesting reading!

Barb Solomon:cat:

08-23-2006, 10:32 PM
Haven't read it yet. But looks good.
Images largest 7x10 inches, good size full pages.
However, not real detailed if one where to really study
like we like here.

Here is the image that sold me.

Giorgione Page Boy 1505


Anita Murphy
08-25-2006, 08:28 AM
Nickel - I am going to see this today!! Will report back later!

Anita Murphy
08-27-2006, 09:50 PM
Belated report on the Bellini, Giorgione, Titian exhibition.

Some wonderful work in this exhibition. I had not come across Giorgione before - at least that I can think of. What struck me particularly about this exhibition was the painting of fabrics. I am enthralled by fabric and it was fascinating to be able to see how they painted them. What looked incredibly detailed from afar, on close inspection was really quite loose application of glazes. Titian especially has a magical touch when it comes to painting fabrics. The richness of the fabric is obvious. In Giorgione's "Laura" the fur of her collar is quite delightful, you can almost feel it.

There was a stunning grisaille and I had written down the name and artist but have lost the slip of paper I wrote it on! :( The background had been painted in a deep red and the grisaille stood out so much it looked like a marble relief. Absolutely breathtaking!

One of my favourites was Titian's Virgin and Child with Saints Catherine and Dominic (great name! My son is also Dominic!). The asymmetric compositio is super and the landscape in the back right side is worthy of being a painting all on its own. I love St Catherine in this - the sleeve of her dress is so beautiful.

What was particularly striking was the quality of the colour - they glowed!

There were wonderful explanations of the x-rays of what had been painted in lower layers, how compositions were changed around.

A lovely exhibition and really worth a visit!

08-29-2006, 03:41 PM
Very well. If Present can do this so can I. So I will. Week of Sept. 11,12,13,14 or however long it takes. So much at the Nat. Gallery to see and absorb. My travel route will loop me through North Carolina to hook up with friends and a caravan going north from southern Va. Want me to pick you up Nickel? Strictly budget plan. You bring a large supply of macaroons, and listen attentively as I explain every painting we gaze at. That's all I ask. :smug:

08-30-2006, 08:35 AM
You both know I am jealous....but very happy you both have this opportunity.
Anita, sounds like you had a wonderful time.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

Luke, cookies, the chewy ones, sounds like you don't want me to talk
Have a safe trip.
I'll be headed anotherway those days.
But thanks for asking.
Can't wait to hear about what you see when you get back.