Nationality & Life Dates:
Italian, ca. 1426–1516
Madonna and Child
Oil on panel
37 1/8 x 28 3/4 inches
Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
On View - Stent Family Wing, Second Level, Gallery 201
Giovanni Bellini, the teacher of both Giorgione and Titian, became the official painter to the Doge in Venice in the early 1500s. One of Bellini’s favorite subjects was the Madonna and Child before a landscape. Several years before creating this work, Bellini had switched from tempera to oil paint, which allowed him to make subtle changes in color such as those seen here in the fine shadows on the Madonna’s face. The figures appear before a green cloth that symbolizes honor, while the bare tree in the upper right may allude to both the Crucifixion and the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden.