Giovanni Bellini

Course summary

Giovanni Bellini


In the years around 1500 Giovanni Bellini was the uncontested leading artistic figure in Venice’s art scene. Bellini ingeniously incorporated disparate influences – from icons and gold mosaics to Donatello’s expressive bronzes in Padua and the spatial and archaeological accuracy of his brother-in-law, Andrea Mantegna, not to mention the realism of Antonello da Messina’s luminous oil technique. His brush reveals a sensitivity to and rendering of colour and light that places him above contemporaries such as the Vivarini, Vittore Carpaccio or Cima da Conegliano. His grand altarpieces, intimate devotional images, realistic portraits and rare mythologies establish him as the inventor of Venetian colorito, launching the tradition in which Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese later flourished.


Programme details

WEDNESDAYS 19, 26 April and 3 May 2017

11.00am – 12.30pm

Coffee/tea is provided in the Common Room before each lecture, from 10.30am

10.30am Registration (first week only 19 April in Rewley House Reception)


19 APRIL 2017  Images for public and private devotion


26 APRIL 2017  Bellini and the private portrait


3 MAY 2017      The Feast of the Gods, history painting and secular subjects



Recommended reading



Bätschmann, O. Giovanni Bellini. Reaktion Books, 2008

Brown, D.A. (ed.), Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting (National Gallery of Art, Washington).Yale University Press, 2006

Humfrey, P. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Giovanni Bellini (Cambridge Companions to the History of Art). Cambridge University Press, 2008

Pächt, O. & M., Venetian Painting in the Fifteenth Century: Jacopo, Gentile and Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna (Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History) Harvey Miller Publishers, 2005

Rutherglen, S. & C. Hale, In a New Light (Monographic study on Bellini’s St Francis in the Desert in New York’s Frick Collection). D Giles Ltd., 2015

Wind, E., Bellini’s Feast of the Gods: A Study in Venetian Humanism. First published 1948, reprints available.


Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £53.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Catherine Oakes

Director of Studies

Dr Cathy Oakes is Director of Studies for the History of Art, OUDCE. 

Dr Hans Joachim Strupp


studied Art History at the universities of Nuremberg and St Andrews, where he also taught, and has lived in Venice and Florence for several years. He specialises in the sculpture of the Northern and Italian Renaissance, though his interests include German and Italian art of most ages. He taught at the University of Buckingham for nine years and lectures regularly at the Victoria and Albert Museum on German Baroque and the Northern Renaissance. As well as leading tours for Martin Randall, he co-founded Art Pursuits Ltd and is creative director of Art Pursuits Abroad.


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