Although the Venetians were slow to give up Gothic and join the Renaissance, the art and architecture produced in the transition period of the early 15th century was often crystalline in its freshness.
Greek artists continued to arrive, taking refuge from the Turks (El Greco was to be one of these), but it was other Italians who intrigued the Venetians now – the great Florentine sculptors Donatello and Verrocchio, whose bronze equestrian statues left lessons in human form and expression, and painters such as Andrea del Castagno and Paolo Uccello, who helped design mosaics in St Mark’s.
The advent of Renaissance painting in Venice can be fairly concentrated on the careers of two men, father and son: Jacopo and Giovanni Bellini. Jacopo Bellini was a Gothic student of Gentile da Fabriano, but also collaborated with Andrea del Castagno in St Mark’s Cappella della Madonna dei Máscoli; he painted two major cycles for the scuole of San Marco and San Giovanni Evangelista (both destroyed).
Image by carulmare, Creative Commons Licence