Gentile Bellini (1429-1507)
Gentile Bellini was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance Venetian School, born before 1428 in Venice and deceased in Venice around 1507.
Not as taleneted as his brother Giovanni Bellini in terms of invention, Gentile was recognized for his descriptive realism. He painted many portraits of Venetian Doges.
The portrait of "Mehmet II" that was signed by Bellini shows that he was in Constantinople in 1479, at the moment when Peace was signed between Venice and the Turks.
Once returned to Venice, he exercised his talent as a portrait painter under the commission of many famous individuals. After the fire at the Doges Palace in 1577, which destryed most of his historical paintings done in partnership with his brother Giovanni, a materpiece that did survive was the cycle of paintings decorating the Scuola di San Giovanni Envangelista. These paintings represent the miracles performed by a relic of the Holy Cross; three were made by Gentile, the other being done by Giovanni Mansueti, Lazzaro Bastiani and Carpaccio. They are also known for a very accurate and poetical rendition of the venetian life.
After the first years of the 16th century, Gentile Bellini receives the comission of another cycle similar to Scuola di San Giovanni, at the Scuola Grande di San Marco. To better describe the Oriental details of the "St. Mark Preaching in Alexandria", Bellini used his sketches done while in Constantinople.