1500 – 1600
End of the Renaissance and the Reformation

Bellini's and Titian's The Feast of the Gods

Giovanni Bellini and Titian, The Feast of the Gods, 1514 and 1529, oil on canvas
(National Gallery of Art)

Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris, Dr. Steven Zucker

Part of a mythological cycle painted by Titian and Giovanni Bellini and commissioned
by Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara that includes Bacchus and Ariadne and the Andrians.
Originally hung in the studiolo or Camerini d'Alabastro of the Duke's Ferranese castle.

Please also see our video on Bellini's Saint Francis in Ecstacy at the Frick Collection

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Nikko N.S. wrote on Tuesday, May 01, 2012

I look at this painting, and then I look at the former dominant Byzantine style. Byzantine artwork was very systematic in the way humans were drawn. Fingers and noses were thin and lengthy. Facial expressions were almost never present. Whenever Christ was depicted as a young child he still looked as if he was an adult. I see the style as almost being sinister despite what the paintings portray. Then I look at a High Renaissance art piece and nearly everything is opposite to the Byzantine style. Colors are much more vivid; they are more appealing to the eye. The people in these works are filled with emotion and I think a lot of this emotion comes from the aspect of movement in High Renaissance art. There is also a sense of space and area. The larger, more important, figures are placed right in front of your eyes. They are filled with bright and dynamic colors, and they also contain plentiful detail (specifically in clothing). In the back you might have a mountain that has some trees on it. These colors are much cooler and less definite. These paintings are far more realistic and appealing; this is why the Renaissance art movements is one of my favorite ones.

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