Beginning on 1 March 2019, the Gemäldegalerie is presenting an extensive exhibition on the intricately related work of Andrea Mantegna (ca. 1431–1506) and Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1435–1516). With around 100 works, this cooperation between the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the National Gallery London will present the work of these two masters of the Italian Renaissance side by side for the first time. The exhibition catalogue has already been published. Tickets and group tours can now be booked.
In 1452/3 the ambitious, dynamic painter and printmaker Andrea Mantegna, who was active in Padua, married into the Bellini family, who were among the leading painters in nearby Venice. Mantegna’s brilliant compositional innovations and his deep interest in classical antiquity made a major impact on his youngest brother-in-law, Giovanni Bellini. During this time, Bellini’s distinctive painterly style also made a deep impression on Mantegna’s work. After just 10 years of close collaboration, their paths parted. In 1460 Andrea moved to Mantua, where he remained Court Painter to the princely Gonzaga family until his death. Giovanni, on the other hand, spent his entire artistic career in Venice. They were active in very different environments, and their artistic styles developed in very different directions. Yet through all phases of their creative lives, their work provides evidence of their continuing artistic dialogue, something that can be sensed even today.
The collections of the Gemäldegalerie and the National Gallery boast an extraordinary range of high-quality works by Mantegna and Bellini. The collections include masterpieces from all creative phases of these two remarkable artists. Additionally, the Kupferstichkabinett and the British Museum house outstanding collections of works on paper by Mantegna and Bellini, by their family members, and by their protégés. Particularly in their immediacy and spontaneity, these drawings emphasise the artistic proximity of Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini. Around this nucleus, the exhibition also gathers together a number of outstanding loans. This allows the differences and similarities in the work of these major artists of the Renaissance to be teased out in an exemplary fashion. These unexpected connections and breathtaking juxtapositions make up the unique attraction of this exhibition.
In the National Gallery the exhibition ran until 27 January 2019. Since 14 October 2018, in the special presentation Bellini Plus: Research and Restoration, the Gemäldegalerie has been showing works by Giovanni Bellini and his circle that have been the subject of research and investigation in preparation for this major exhibition. Text panels, photos and maps give visitors an insight into the research outcomes of this process, the restoration history of the works, and the recent restoration and conservational measures.
"Mantegna and Bellini: Masters of the Renaissance" is curated by Caroline Campbell (National Gallery, London), Dagmar Korbacher (Kupferstichkabinett – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), Neville Rowley (Gemäldegalerie and Skulpturensammlung – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) and Sarah Vowles (British Museum).
An exhibition of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the National Gallery, London in cooperation with the British Museum. The exhibition is under the patronage of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and is sponsored by the Kaiser Friedrich Museumsverein and the Sparkasse-Finanzgruppe. Media Partners of the exhibition are Arte, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Der Tagesspiegel, tip Berlin und Zitty.