THE VIVARINI AND BELLINI

In Venice the Byzantine style appears to have offered a more stubborn resistance to the innovators than in Tuscany, or, in fact, in any other part of Italy. Few, if any, of the allegorical subjects with which Giotto and his scholars decorated whole buildings are to be found here, and the altar pictures retain longer than anywhere else the gilt canopied compartments and divisions, and the tranquil positions of single figures. It was not until a century after the death of Cimabue and Duccio that the real development of the Venetian School was manifested, so that when things did begin to move the conditions were not the same, and the results accordingly were something substantially different.

The influence of the Byzantine style still hangs heavily over the work of Nicolo Semitecolo, who was working in Venice in the middle of the fourteenth century, as may be seen in the great altar-piece ascribed to him in the Academy—the Coronation of the Virgin with fourteen scenes from the life of Christ. In this work there is little of the general advancement visible in other parts of Italy. It corresponds most nearly with the work of Duccio of Siena, though without attaining his excellence; while the gold hatchings and olive brown tones are still Byzantine.

An altar-piece, by Michele Giambono, also in the Academy, painted during the first half of the fifteenth century, shows a more decided advance, and even anticipates some of the later excellences of the Venetian School. The drapery is in the long and easy lines which we see in the Tuscan pictures of the period, and what is especially significant, in view of the subsequent development of Venetian painting, the colouring is rich, deep, and transparent, and the flesh tints unusually soft and warm. This is signed by Giambono, and is one of his most important works, as well as the most complete, as it exists in its original state as an ancona or altar-piece divided into compartments by canopies of joiners' work. It is unusual in form, inasmuch as the central panel, though slightly larger than the pair on either side, contains but a single figure. This figure was generally supposed to be the Saviour, but it has recently been pointed out that it is S. James the Great, the others being SS. John the Evangelist, Philip Benizi, Michael, and Louis of Toulouse. Some of Giambono's finest work was in mosaic, and the walls and roof of the Cappella de'Mascoli in S. Mark's may be regarded as the highest achievement in mosaic of the early Venetian School. While this species of decoration had given place to fresco painting elsewhere, it was here, in 1430, brought to a pitch of perfection by Giambono which entitles this work to a prominent place in the history of painting.

But the two chief pioneers of the early fifteenth century were Giovanni, or Johannes Alamanus, and Antonio da Murano. The former appears from his surname to have been of German origin, the latter belonged to the family of Vivarini, and they used to work together on the same pictures. Two excellent examples of this combination are in the Academy at Venice. The one, dated 1440, is a Coronation of the Virgin, with many figures, including several boys, and numerous saints seated. In the heads of the saints we may trace the hand of Alamanus, in the Germanic type of countenance which recalls the style of Stephen of Cologne. A repetition of this, if it is not actually the original, is in S. Pantalone at Venice. The other picture, dated 1446, of enormous dimensions, represents the Virgin enthroned, beneath a canopy sustained by angels, with the four Fathers of the Church at her side. The colouring is fully as flowing and splendid as that of Giambono.

We do not recognise here, as Kugler rightly observes, the influence of the school of Giotto, but rather the types of the Germanic style gradually assuming a new character, possibly owing to the social condition of Venice itself. There was something perhaps in the nature of a rich commercial aristocracy of the middle ages calculated to encourage that species of art which offered the greatest splendour and elegance to the eye; and this also, if possible, in a portable form; thus preferring the domestic altar or the dedication picture to wall decorations in churches. The contemporary Flemish paintings, under similar conditions, exhibit analogous results. With regard to colour, the depth and transparency observable in the works of the old Venetian School had long been a distinguishing feature in the Byzantine paintings on wood, and may therefore be traceable to this source without assuming an influence on the part of Padua, or from the north through Giovanni Alamanus.

The two side panels of an altar-piece, representing severally SS. Peter and Jerome, and SS. Francis and Mark, now in the National Gallery (Nos. 768 and 1284), are ascribed to Antonio Vivarini alone, though the centre panel, the Virgin and Child, now in the Poldi Pezzoli collection at Milan is said to be the joint work of Alamanus and Antonio. However that may be, there is no longer any dispute about the fascinating Adoration of the Kings in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum at Berlin, formerly supposed to be the work of Gentile da Fabriano, but now catalogued as that of Antonio.

In 1450 the name of Alamanus disappears altogether, and that of Bartolommeo Vivarini, Antonio's younger brother, replaces it in an inscription upon the great altar-piece commissioned by Pope Nicholas V. in commemoration of Cardinal Albergati, now in the Pinacoteca of Bologna. The change is noticeable as introducing the Paduan influence of Squarcione, under whom Bartolommeo had studied, instead of the northern influence of Alamanus, into Antonio's workshop, and while this work of 1450, as might be supposed, bears a general resemblance to that of 1446, the change of partnership is at least perceptible, and had a determining influence on the development of the Venetian style.

A slightly earlier work of Bartolommeo alone is a Madonna and Child belonging to Sir Hugh Lane, signed and dated 1448. An altar-piece in the Venice Academy is dated 1464, a Madonna and Four Saints, in the Frari, 1482, and S. Barbara, in the Academy, 1490. Bartolommeo is supposed to have died in 1499.

Alvise, or Luigi, Vivarini was the son of Antonio, and though he worked under him and his uncle Bartolommeo, as well as under Giovanni Bellini, the Paduan influence is apparent in his work. He was born in 1447, and his first dated work is an altar-piece at Montefiorentino, in 1475. In the Academy at Venice is a Madonna dated 1480, and at Naples a Madonna with SS. Francis and Bernard, 1485. Another Madonna at Vienna is dated 1489, and the large altar-piece in the Basilica at the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin is assigned to about the same time. This is the first of his works in which the influence of Bellini rather than that of his family is traceable, while of the "Redentore" Madonna at Venice, of about five years later, Mr Bernhard Bernson says that, "As a composition no work of the kind by Giovanni Bellini even rivals it." In 1498 he had advanced so far as to be spoken of as anticipating Giorgione and Titian, in the effect of light and in the roundness and softness of the figures of the Resurrection, at Bragora. His last work, the altar-piece at the Frari, was completed after his death in 1504 by his pupil Basaiti. Bartolommeo Montagna, Jacopo da Valenza and Lorenzo Lotto were the chief of his other pupils.

In connection with the Vivarini must be mentioned Carlo Crivelli, who studied with Bartolommeo under Antonio and Squarcione. But there was something fierce and uncongenial about Crivelli which takes him out of the main body of Venetian painters, and seems to have given him more pride in being made a knight than in his pictorial achievements, remarkable as they were. In his ornamentation of every detail with gold and jewels he recalls the style of Antonio Vivarini, but while the master used it as accessory merely, Crivelli positively revelled in it. An inventory of the precious stones, ornaments, fruits and flowers, and other detached items in the great "Demidoff Altar-Piece" in the National Gallery would fill several pages. Of the eight examples in this gallery the earliest is probably the Dead Christ, presumably painted in 1472. The Demidoff altar-piece is dated 1476. The Annunciation (No. 739), which may be considered his masterpiece, was ten years later. In 1490 Crivelli was knighted by Prince Ferdinand of Capua, and from that date onward he was careful to add to his signature the title Miles—as appears in our Madonna and Child Enthroned, with SS. Jerome and Sebastian—called the Madonna della Rondine:——

Carolus Crivellus Venetus Miles Pinxit. This was painted for the Odoni Chapel in S. Francesco at Matelica, the coat of arms of the family being painted on the step.

Our Annunciation was executed for the convent of the Santissima Annunziata at Ascoli, and is dated 1486. Three coats of arms on the front of the step at the bottom of the picture are those of the Bishop of Ascoli, Pope Innocent VII., the reigning Pontiff, and the City of Ascoli. Between these are the words Libertas Ecclesiastica, in allusion to the charter of self-government given in 1482 by the Pope to the citizens of Ascoli. The patron saint of the city, S. Emidius, is represented as a youth kneeling beside the Archangel, holding in his hands a model of it. The Virgin is seen through the open door of a house, and in an open loggia above are peacocks and other birds. Amid all the rich detail, the significance of the group of figures at the top of a flight of steps must not be missed, amongst which a child and a poet are the only two who are represented as noticing the mystic event.

Another painter of the earlier half of the fourteenth century may be mentioned here, though as he was more famous as a medallist his influence on the main course of painting is not observable. Vittore Pisano, called Pisanello, was born in Verona before 1400, and died in 1455. Of the few pictures attributed to him we are fortunate in having two such beautiful examples as the SS. Anthony and George and The Vision of S. Eustace in the National Gallery. Both exhibit his two most noticeable characteristics, namely, the minute care and exquisite feeling that made him the most famous of medallists, and his wonderful drawing of animals. The latter, it is worth remarking, was attributed by a former owner to Albert Dürer. The other is signed "Pisanus"; in the frame are inserted casts of two of his medals, representing Leonello d'Este, his patron, and a profile of himself.

Another very considerable factor in the development of Venetian painting was the influence of Gentile da Fabriano (c. 1360-1430), who settled in Venice in the latter part of his life, and there formed the closest intimacy with Antonio Vivarini. The remarkable Adoration of the Kings in the Berlin Museum was until lately given to Gentile, though it is now catalogued as the work of Antonio. Of Gentile's education little is known, and of the numerous works which he executed at Fabriano, in Rome and in Venice very few have survived. From those that exist, however, we can form an estimate of his talents and of the difference between his earlier and later styles. To the first belong a fresco of the Madonna in the Cathedral at Orvieto, and the beautiful picture of the Madonna and saints which is now in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum at Berlin. Also the fine Adoration of the Kings, inscribed with his name and the date 1423, formerly in the sacristy of S. Trinità at Florence, and now in the Accademia. This, his masterpiece, is one of the finest conceptions of the subject as well as one of the most excellent productions of the schools descended from Giotto. Of his later period the Coronation of the Virgin (called theQuadro della Romita) in the Brera gallery at Milan is one of the finest. In many respects his work is like that of Fra Angelico, and was aptly characterised by Michelangelo when he said that "Gentile's pictures were like his name." Apart from the influence of the Paduan School, which will next be noticed, the Venetian owed most to Gentile da Fabriano, if only as the master of Jacopo Bellini, whose son, Giovanni Bellini, may be regarded as the real head of the Venetian School as developed by his pupils Giorgione and Titian at the opening of the sixteenth century.

Whether or not Giotto left any actual pupils in Padua after completing the frescoes in the chapel of the arena there, it must be admitted that the older school of painting in Padua, which centred round the church containing the body of S. Anthony, was an offshoot of the Florentine, and that as Giotto was the great leader in Florence he must be considered the same here; though his followers differ so much from each other in style that beyond their indebtedness to their founder they have no distinctive feature in common. But with the opening of the fifteenth century one particular tendency was developed under the fostering influence of Francesco Squarcione, born in 1394, which affected in a very sensible degree the style of the great painters of the next generation in Venice. This, in a word, was the cult of the antique.

Among the Florentines, as we have seen, the study of form was chiefly pursued on the principle of direct reference to nature, the especial object in view being an imitation in two dimensions of the actual appearances and circumstances of life existing in three. In the Paduan School it now came to be very differently developed, namely, by the study of the masterpieces of antique sculpture, in which the common forms of nature were already raised to a high ideal of beauty. This school has consequently the merit, as Kugler points out, of applying the rich results of an earlier, long-forgotten excellence in art to modern practice. Of a real comprehension of the idealising principle of classic art there does not appear any trace; what the Paduans borrowed from the antique was limited primarily to mere outward beauty. Accordingly in the earliest examples we find the drapery treated according to the antique costume, and the general arrangement more resembling bas-relief than rounded groups. The accessories display in like manner a special attention to antique models, particularly in the architecture, and the frequent introduction of festoons of fruit; while the exaggerated sharpness in the marking of the forms due to the combined influence of the study of the antique and the naturalising tendency of the time, sometimes borders on excess.

The immediate cause of this almost sudden outbreak of the cult of the antique—whatever natural forces were behind it—was the visit of Squarcione to Greece, and Southern Italy, to collect specimens of the remains of ancient art. On his return to Padua his collection soon attracted a great number of pupils anxious to avail themselves of the advantages it offered; and by these pupils, who poured in from all parts of Italy, the manner of the school was afterwards spread throughout a great portion of the country. Squarcione himself is better known as a teacher than as an artist, the few of his remaining works being of no great importance. There is no example in the National Gallery, but of the work of his great pupil, Mantegna, we have as much, at any rate, as will serve to commemorate the master.

Andrea Mantegna was born at Vicenza in 1431, and when no more than ten years old was inscribed in the guild of Padua as pupil and adopted son of Squarcione. As early as 1448 he had painted an altar-piece for Santa Sophia, now lost, and in 1452 the fresco in San Antonio. In 1455 he was engaged with Nicolo Pizzolo (Donatello's assistant), and others, on the six frescoes in the Eremitani Church at Padua. The whole of the left side of the chapel of SS. James and Christopher—the life of S. James—and the martyrdom of S. Christopher are his, and in these, his earliest remaining works, we already see the result of pedantic antiquarianism combined with his extraordinary individuality.

In 1460 he went to Mantua, where he remained for the greater part of his life, visiting Florence in 1466 and Rome in 1488.

Among his earlier works are the small Adoration of the Kings in the Uffizi at Florence, the Death of the Virgin and the S. George in the Venice Academy. From 1484 to 1494 he was intermittently engaged on the nine great cartoons of The Triumph of Cæsar, which are now at Hampton Court, having been acquired by Charles I. with many other gems from the Duke of Mantua's collection. On the completion of these he painted the celebrated Madonna della Vittoria, now in the Louvre—a large altar-piece representing a Madonna surrounded by saints, with Francesco Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and his wife, kneeling at her feet. It is a dedication picture for a victory obtained over Charles VIII. of France in 1495. It is no less remarkable for its superb execution than for a softer treatment of the flesh than is usual in Mantegna's work. Two other pictures in the Louvre are, however, distinguished by similar qualities—the Parnassus, painted in 1497, and the Triumph of Virtue.

PLATE XI.—ANDREA MANTEGNA  THE MADONNA DELLA VITTORIA  Louvre, Paris
PLATE XI.—ANDREA MANTEGNA
THE MADONNA DELLA VITTORIA
Louvre, Paris

In our own collection we have The Agony in the Garden, painted in 1459—to which I shall refer presently—two monochrome paintings (Nos. 1125 and 1145), the beautiful Virgin and Child Enthroned, with SS. Mary Magdalen and John the Baptist, which is comparable with the more famous Louvre Madonna, and, lastly, the Triumph of Scipio, in monochrome, painted for Francesco Cornaro, a Venetian nobleman, completed in 1506, only a few months before the painter's death. In this we see that Mantegna's antiquarianism was not simply a youthful phase, but lasted till the very end of his career. The subject is the reception of the Phrygian mother of the gods among the recognised divinities of the Roman State, as is indicated on the plinth by the inscription. In the centre is Claudia Quinta about to kneel before the bust of the goddess. Behind is Scipio, and in the background are monuments to his family. The composition includes twenty-two figures. It is significant that the subject and its treatment are so entirely classic as only to be appreciated by references to Latin literature.

Another significance attaches to the Agony in the Garden above mentioned, which is one of the very earliest, as the Scipio is the very latest, of Mantegna's pictures, being painted before he left Padua to go to Mantua. In this we find that the original suggestion for the design appears to have been taken from a drawing in the sketch-book of his father-in-law, Jacopo Bellini, which is now in the British Museum; and the same design appears to have served Giovanni Bellini in the composition of the picture in our gallery (No. 726). This takes us back to Venice, and accounts for the Paduan influence traceable in the works of the Bellini family and their pupils.

Jacopo Bellini, whose considerable talents have been somewhat obscured by the fame of his two sons, Gentile and Giovanni, was originally a pupil of Gentile da Fabriano, after whom he named his eldest son. He was working in Padua in the middle of the fifteenth century, in rivalry with Squarcione, and in 1453 his daughter Nicolosia married Andrea Mantegna. Thus it happened that both of his sons came under the influence of Mantegna, and evidently, too, of the sculptor Donatello, when working at Padua between 1450 and 1460.

Very few authentic pictures by Jacopo are known to us. A Crucifixion (much repainted) was in the sacristy of the Episcopal Palace at Verona; and another, which recalls the treatment of his master, Gentile da Fabriano, at Lovere, near Bergamo. In the sketch-book above mentioned, the contents of which consist of sacred subjects, and studies from the antique, both in architecture and in costume, we see the peculiar tendency of the Paduan School expressed in the most complete and comprehensive manner. These drawings constitute the most remarkable link of connection between Mantegna and the sons of Jacopo Bellini, all three of whom must have studied from them. The book was inherited by Gentile on his mother's death, and bequeathed by him to his brother on condition that he should finish the picture of S. Mark, on which Gentile was engaged at the time of his death.

Giovanni Bellini was born in 1428 or 1430 and lived to 1516. Albert Dürer, writing from Venice in 1506, says that "he is very old, but is still the best in painting."

The greater number of Bellini's pictures are to be found in the galleries and churches in Venice, all of those which are dated being the work of his old age. Of his earlier pictures we are fortunate in having two fine examples in the National Gallery, Christ's Agony in the Garden (No. 726) and The Blood of the Redeemer (No. 1233). In both of these the influence of his famous brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna, is traceable,—the former being till lately attributed to him. Both Giovanni and Gentile worked in Padua, where Mantegna was established, in 1460 or thereabouts, and where another influence, that of the sculptor Donatello, must have had its effect on the young brothers. Similar in character, and even more beautiful in some respects, is the Redeemer, a single half figure in a landscape, recently acquired for the Louvre—the first authentic example of the master in that collection.

In 1464, Giovanni had returned to Venice, and it was some years before the severe Paduan influence melted before "the sensuous feeling of the true Venetian temperament." In 1475, however, the arrival of Antonello da Messina in Venice, bringing with him the practice of painting in oil, effected a revolution, in which Giovanni, if not one of the foremost, was certainly one of the most successful in adopting the new method. His later works, so far from showing any diminution of power, may be said to anticipate the Venetian style of the sixteenth century in the clearest manner. One of the chief, dated 1488, is the large altar-piece in the sacristy of S. Maria di Frari, a Madonna Enthroned with two angels and four saints. The two little angels are of the utmost beauty; the one is playing on a lute, and listens with head inclined to hear whether the instrument is in tune; the other is blowing a pipe. The whole is perfectly finished and of a splendid effect of colour. To the year 1486 belongs a Madonna Enthroned with Six Saints, now in the Academy at Venice. The famous head of the Doge Loredano in the National Gallery must have been painted in or after 1501. In 1507, he completed the large picture of S. Mark Preaching at Alexandria, now in the Brera Gallery at Milan, begun by his brother Gentile. Within three years of his death, namely in 1513, he could produce such a masterwork as the altar-piece in S. Giovanni Crisostomo. His last work, the landscape in which was finished by Titian, is dated 1514. This is the famous Bacchanal now in the collection of the Duke of Northumberland.

The influence of Bellini on the Venetian School was paramount, and his noble example helped more than anything else to develop the excellences observable in the works of Cimada Conegliano, Vincenzo Catena, Lorenzo Lotto, Palma Vecchio and Basaiti, to say nothing of his great pupils Titian and Giorgione. It is impossible to conjecture what course the genius of this younger generation would have taken without his guidance, but when we consider that in 1500 Bellini was seventy years old, and had stored within his mind the experience of his early association with his brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna in Padua, the introduction of the use of oil paints by Antonello da Messina in 1475, since which date he had sedulously developed the new practice; when we also take into account the dignity and gravity of his own works, and the indication they afford of the man himself, it is not difficult to judge how much his pupils and successors owed to him.

The works of Gentile Bellini, the elder brother of Giovanni, are of less importance, but of considerable interest, especially in view of his journey to Constantinople in 1479 at the request of the Sultan, whose portrait he painted there in the following year. A replica

PLATE XII.—GIOVANNI BELLINI  THE DOGE LOREDANO  National Gallery, London
PLATE XII.—GIOVANNI BELLINI
THE DOGE LOREDANO
National Gallery, London

of this portrait has been bequeathed to the National Gallery by Sir Henry Layard, and it is to be hoped that the difficulties raised by the Italian government as to its removal from Venice will shortly be overcome. The picture of S. Mark Preaching at Alexandria already mentioned as having been finished by Giovanni, is remarkable for the Oriental costumes of all the figures in it. Gentile's pictures are often ascribed to his brother; in two examples at the National Gallery (Nos. 808 and 1440) there is actually a false signature on a cartellino. In the latter instance Messrs Ludwig and Molmenti are still of opinion that the picture is the work of Giovanni.

Vincenzo Catena (c. 1470-1530) is not known to have been a pupil of Bellini, but he began by so modelling his style upon him that one of his works in the National Gallery was until quite lately officially ascribed to him, namely the S. Jerome in his Study. Another, a later work, A Warrior Adoring the Infant Christ was similarly ascribed to Giorgione. This is a proof that Catena was very susceptible to various influences, and was "an artist of extraordinary suppleness of mind, never too old to learn or to appreciate new ideals and new sentiments." In a manner more his own is the Madonna with Four Saintsin the Berlin Gallery (No. 19). The S. Jerome and the Warrior are among the most popular pictures in the National Gallery—partly perhaps on account of their supposed illustrious parentage, but by no means entirely. A painter who could so absorb the characteristics of two such masters must needs be a master himself.

Cima da Conegliano, so called from his birthplace in Friuli—the rocky height of which serves as a background in some of his pictures—settled in Venice in 1490, when he was about thirty years old. The influence of Bellini may be seen in the temperamental as well as the technical qualities of his work, which is distinguished by sound drawing and proportion, fine and brilliant colour, as well as by sympathetic types of countenance. One of his best and earliest pictures is the S. John the Baptist with four other saints, in Santa Maria del Orto in Venice. Another is the Madonna with S. Jerome and S. Louis, now in the Vienna Gallery. A smaller but peculiarly attractive piece is the S. Anianus of Alexandria healing a shoemaker's wounded hand, at Berlin, distinguished for its beautiful clear colours and the life-like character of the heads.

Andrea Previtali, born in Bergamo in 1480, came to Venice to study under Bellini, whom he succeeded in imitating with remarkable success. The Mystic Marriage of S. Catherine (No. 1409) in the National Gallery was formerly attributed to Bellini. If he had not the originality to carry the art any farther, his pictures are nevertheless a decided and very agreeable proof of the advance that was being made in it at the beginning of the sixteenth century, before the full splendour of Giorgione and Titian had unfolded.

Marco Basaiti, though probably not a pupil of Bellini, nevertheless acquired many of his characteristics. The picture in the National Gallery known as The Madonna of the Meadow was until lately assigned to Bellini, and another of his, in the Giovanelli Palace at Venice, which is identical in technique, tone, and general effect with this one, is still so ascribed. Whether or not he learnt from Bellini, he was certainly an assistant to Alvise Vivarini, on whose death he completed the large altar-piece in the Church of S. Maria de Friari at Venice, representing S. Ambrose surrounded by Saints. His Christ on the Mount of Olives and The Calling of Zebedee, both dated 1510, are now in the Academy at Venice, and together with the Portrait of a Man, dated 1521, in the Bergamo Gallery, and The Assumption in S. Pietro Martire at Murano, may be considered his best performances.

More remote from Bellini, yet not so far as to be entirely free from his influence in some of their more important compositions, was the school formed by Lazzaro di Bastiani or Sebastiani, of which the chief ornament was Vittore Carpaccio, and among the lesser ones Giovanni Mansueti and Benedetto Diana. The history of this independent group of painters has only of late years been elucidated; Kugler, after a page devoted to Carpaccio, dismissed them with the remark that Mansueti and Bastiani were both pupils of Carpaccio, and that Benedetto Diana was "less distinguished." Our national collection was without any example until 1896, when Mansueti's Symbolic representation of the Crucifixion was purchased. In 1905 the National Art-Collections Fund secured Bastiani's Virgin and Child, and in 1910 Sir Claude Phillips presented Diana's Christ Blessing. Alas! that we are still without anything from the hand of Vittore Carpaccio. Seven portraits by Moroni do not fill a gap like this.

The name of Lazzaro de Bastiani first occurs in Venice as a witness to his brother's will in 1449, and as early as 1460 he was painting an altar-piece for the Church of San Samuele. Ten years later, the brothers of the Scuolo di San Marco ordered a picture of the Story of David from him, promising him the same payment as they gave to Jacobo Bellini, who had been working for them with his two sons Gentile and Giovanni. In 1474, another proof of his rank and repute as a painter is afforded by a letter from a gentleman in Constantinople, asking for a picture by him, but that Giovanni Bellini should paint it in the event of Bastiani being already dead. He was thus, it would seem, preferred to Bellini, though it will be remembered that five years later, when the Sultan expressed the wish that a distinguished portrait-painter should be sent him from Venice, it was Gentile Bellini who was nominated. All the same, Gentile was a portrait-painter, and Bastiani was not; and it is fairly evident that the latter was at least in the front rank. One of his best-known pictures the Vergine dai begli occhi in the Ducal Palace at Venice used to be attributed to Giovanni Bellini; but though he appears to have drawn inspiration for his larger and more important compositions from Jacobo Bellini, his style was chiefly developed through that of Giambono. His most important work is now in the Academy at Vienna—an altar-piece painted for the Church of Corpus Domini, Venice, S. Veneranda Enthroned. In the Imperial Gallery at Vienna are a Last Communion and Funeral of S. Girolamo. In the Academy at Venice are S. Anthony of Padua, seated between the branches of a walnut-tree, with Cardinal Bonaventura and Brother Leo on either side, a large picture of a Miracle of the Holy Cross, and a remarkable rendering of The Madonna Kneeling, the child being laid under an elaborate canopy. An Entombment in the Church of S. Antonino at Venice is reminiscent of Giovanni Bellini at his best.

In 1508, the name of Vittore Carpaccio occurs with that of Bastiani in connection with the frescoes of Giorgione upon the façade of the Fondaco de Tedeschi, about which there was a dispute. To Carpaccio we are indebted for the most vivid realization of the contemporary life of Venice; for although his subjects were nominally taken from sacred history or legend, they are treated in a thoroughly secular fashion, giving the clearest idea of the buildings, people, and costume of the Venice of his time, with the greatest variety and richest development. His object is not only to represent single events, but a complete scene, and while we observe this characteristic in one or two pictures by the Bellini, Carpaccio not only shows it much oftener, but carries it to a much fuller development—possibly influenced by the Netherlandish masters.

Many of his works are in the Academy at Venice; eight large pictures, painted between 1490 and 1495, represent the history of S. Ursula and the eleven thousand virgins. Such a wealth of charming material might have embarrassed a less capable painter, but "the monotonous incident which forms the groundwork of many of them," as Kugler coldly puts it, "is throughout varied and elevated by a free style of grouping and by happy moral allusions." Another series is that of the Miracles of the Holy Cross, among which may be especially noticed the cure of a man possessed by a devil; the scene is laid in the loggia of a Venetian palace, and is watched from below by a varied group of figures on the Canal and its banks. Larger and broader treatment may be seen in the Presentation in the Temple, painted in 1510, which is also in the Academy, and in the altar-piece of S. Vitale, dated 1514. This last brings Carpaccio into closer comparison with the later Venetian painters, being in the nature of a Santa Conversazione, where the holy personages are grouped in some definite relation to each other, and not independent figures.

Palma Vecchio (1480-1528), so called to distinguish him from Giacomo Palma the younger—Palma Giovane,—was so much influenced by Giorgione and Titian that his indebtedness to Bellini appears to have been comparatively slight. The beautiful Portrait of a Poet in the National Gallery has been attributed both to Giorgione and to Titian.

The number of pictures which are now permitted by the experts to be called Giorgione's is so small, that we may learn more about him as an influence on the work of other painters—especially Titian—than from the meagre materials available for his own biography. The only unquestioned examples of his work are three pictures at the Uffizi, The Trial of Moses, The Judgment of Solomon, and The Knight of Malta; the Venus at Dresden; The Three Philosophers at Vienna; and the famous Concert Champêtre in the Louvre. But until the critics deprive him even of these, we are able to agree that "his capital achievement was the invention of the modern spirit of lyrical passion and romance in pictorial art, and his magical charm has never been equalled."