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Early Renaissance Art

Giovanni Bellini, Annunciation angel, Frari

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).

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Serenissima in Spite of Everything

Antonello da Messina

Early master of oils

Marco Basaiti

Giovanni Bellini's rival

Lazzaro Bastiani

Carpaccio's master

Gentile Bellini

The master of ceremonies

Giovanni Bellini

Master of luminosity

Jacopo Bellini

Giovanni and Gentile's pa

Ca' d'Oro/Franchetti Gallery

Venice's golden house

Ca' Vendramin-Calergi

The Casino and Museo Wagner

Vittore Carpaccio

A Renaissance charmer

Andrea del Castagno

A Tuscan in Venice

Cima da Conegliano

Heir of Giovanni Bellini

Mauro Codussi

Renaissance synthesizer

Carlo Crivelli

An unusually precise Venetian painter

Antonio Gambello

The first Renaissance architect in Venice

Giovanni d'Alemagna

'German John'

Alessandro Leopardi

Man of bronze

Antonio Lombardo

Son of Pietro, brother of Tullio

Pietro Lombardo

Lombardo clan pater

Tullio Lombardo

Renaissance marble master

Giovanni Mansueti

Student of Gentile Bellini

Andrea Mantegna

Master of the monumental

Palazzo Cini: La Galleria

The gallery of the Istituto di Storia dell’Arte

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

Of the Spiral Stair

Palazzo Corner-Spinelli

Now home to the Rubelli Textiles

Piero della Francesca

Tuscan Renaissance man


Early Renaissance painter and engraver

Antonio Rizzo

Pure Renaissance architect

San Giobbe

The church of Job

San Giovanni Crisostomo

A pocket-sized Renaissance gem

San Giovanni in Brágora

Vivaldi’s baptismal church

San Lio

Canaletto's last resting place

San Michele in Isola

The island of the dead

San Pietro Martire

Murano’s arty church and museum

San Zaccaria and its Campo

Venice's High Society church

Sant' Alvise

Perhaps the loneliest church in Venice

Santa Maria Assunta

The parish church of Malamocco

Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Renaissance jewel

Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Venice's Pantheon

Scuola Grande S. Giovanni Evangelista

One of the oldest in Venice

Scuola Grande di San Marco

And its historical medical museum and library

Scuola San Giorgio degli Schiavoni

The school of fairy tale art

Francesco Squarcione

The tailor who changed art history

Andrea del Verrocchio

Only has one work in Venice, but it's a doozy

Alvise Vivarini

Son of Antonio

Bartolomeo Vivarini

The first Venetian to paint in oils

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by carulmare, Creative Commons Licence