towards the year 1505, the portrait of the doge Loredano in the National Gallery, the only portrait by the master which has been preserved, and in its own manner one of the most masterly in the whole range of painting.
The last ten or twelve years of the master’s life saw him besieged with more commissions than he could well complete. Already in the years 1501-1504 the marchioness Isabella Gonzaga of Mantua had had great difficulty in obtaining delivery from him of a picture of the “Madonna and Saints” (now lost) for which part payment had been made in advance. In 1505 she endeavoured through Cardinal Bembo to obtain from him another picture, this time of a secular or mythological character. What the subject of this piece was, or whether it was actually delivered, we do not know. Albrecht Dürer, visiting Venice for a second time in 1506, reports of Giovanni Bellini as still the best painter in the city, and as full of all courtesy and generosity towards foreign brethren of the brush. In 1507 Gentile Bellini died, and Giovanni completed the picture of the “Preaching of St Mark” which he had left unfinished; a task on the fulfilment of which the bequest by the elder brother to the younger of their father’s sketch-book had been made conditional. In 1513 Giovanni’s position as sole master (since the death of his brother and of Alvise Vivarini) in charge of the paintings in the Hall of the Great Council was threatened by an application on the part of his own former pupil, Titian, for a joint-share in the same undertaking, to be paid for on the same terms. Titian’s application was first granted, then after a year rescinded, and then after another year or two granted again; and the aged master must no doubt have undergone some annoyance from his sometime pupil’s proceedings. In 1514 Giovanni undertook to paint a Bacchanal for the duke Alfonso of Ferrara, but died in 1516; leaving it to be finished by his pupils; this picture is now at Alnwick.
Both in the artistic and in the worldly sense, the career of Giovanni Bellini was upon the whole the most serenely and unbrokenly prosperous, from youth to extreme old age, which fell to the lot of any artist of the early Renaissance. He lived to see his own school far outshine that of his rivals, the Vivarini of Murano; he embodied, with ever growing and maturing power, all the devotional gravity and much also of the worldly splendour of the Venice of his time; and he saw his influence propagated by a host of pupils, two of whom at least, Giorgione and Titian, surpassed their master. Giorgione he outlived by five years; Titian, as we have seen, challenged an equal place beside his teacher. Among the best known of his other pupils were, in his earlier time, Andrea Previtali, Cima da Conegliano, Marco Basaiti, Niccolo Rondinelli, Piermaria Pennacchi, Martino da Udine, Girolamo Mocetto; in later time, Pierfrancesco Bissolo, Vincenzo Catena, Lorenzo Lotto and Sebastian del Piombo.
Bibliography.—Vasari, ed. Milanesi, vol. iii.; Ridolfi, Le Maraviglie, &c., vol. i.; Francesco Sansovino, Venezia Descritta; Morelli, Notizia, &c., di un Anonimo; Zanetti, Pittura Veneziana; F. Aghietti, Elogio Storico di Jacopo e Giovanni Bellini; G. Bernasconi, Cenni intorno la vita e le opere di Jacopo Bellini; Moschini, Giovanni Bellini e pittori contemporanei; E. Galichon in Gazette des beaux-arts (1866); Crowe and Cavalcaselle, History of Painting in North Italy, vol. i.; Hubert Janitschek, “Giovanni Bellini” in Dohme’s Kunst und Künstler; Julius Meyer in Meyer’s Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon, vol. iii. (1885); Pompeo Molmenti, “I pittori Bellini” in Studi e ricerche di Storia d’ Arte; P. Paoletti, Raccolta di documenti inediti, fasc. i.; Vasari, Vite di Gentile da Fabriano e Vittor Pisanello, ed. Venturi; Corrado Ricci in Rassegna d’ Arte (1901, 1903), and Rivista d’ Arte (1906); Roger Fry, Giovanni Bellini in “The Artist’s Library”; Everard Meynell, Giovanni Bellini in Newnes’s “Art Library” (useful for a nearly complete set of reproductions of the known paintings); Corrado Ricci, Jacopo Bellini e i suoi Libri di Disegni; Victor Goloubeff, Les Dessins de Jacopo Bellini (the two works last cited reproduce in full, that of M. Goloubeff by far the most skilfully, the contents of both the Paris and the London sketch-books).
BELLINI, LORENZO (1643-1704), Italian physician and anatomist, was born at Florence on the 3rd of September 1643. At the age of twenty, when he had already begun his researches on the structure of the kidneys and had described the ducts known by his name (Exercitatio anatomica de structura et usu renum, 1662), he was chosen professor of theoretical medicine at Pisa, but soon after was transferred to the chair of anatomy. After spending thirty years at Pisa, he was invited to Florence and appointed physician to the grand duke Cosimo III., and was also made senior consulting physician to Pope Clement XI. He died at Florence on the 8th of January 1704. His works were published in a collected form at Venice in 1708.
BELLINI, VINCENZO (1801-1835), operatic composer of the Italian school, was born at Catania in Sicily, on the 1st of November 1801. He was descended from a family of musicians, both his father and grandfather having been composers of some reputation. After having received his preparatory musical education at home, he entered the conservatoire of Naples, where he studied singing and composition under Tritto and Zingarelli. He soon began to write pieces for various instruments, as well as a cantata and several masses and other sacred compositions. His first opera, Adelson e Savina, was performed in 1825 at a small theatre in Naples; his second dramatic work, Bianca e Fernando, was produced next year at the San Carlo theatre of the same city, and made his name known in Italy. His next work, Il Pirata (1827), was written for the Scala in Milan, to words by Felice Romano, with whom Bellini formed a union of friendship to be severed only by his death. The splendid rendering of the music by Tamburini, Rubini and other great Italian singers contributed greatly to the success of the work, which at once established the European reputation of its composer. In almost every year of the short remainder of his life he produced a new operatic work, which was received with rapture by the audiences of France, Italy, Germany and England. The names and dates of four of Bellini’s operas familiar to most lovers of Italian music are: I Montecchi e Capuleti (1830), in which the part of Romeo became a favourite with all the great contraltos; La Sonnambula (1831); Norma, Bellini’s best and most popular creation (1831); and I Puritani (1835), written for the Italian opera in Paris, and to some extent under the influence of French music. In 1833 Bellini had left his country to accompany to England the singer Pasta, who had created the part of his Sonnambula. In 1834 he accepted an invitation to write an opera for the national grand opera in Paris. While he was carefully studying the French language and the cadence of French verse for the purpose, he was seized with a sudden illness and died at his villa in Puteaux near Paris on the 24th of September 1835. His operatic creations are throughout replete with a spirit of gentle melancholy, frequently monotonous and almost always undramatic, but at the same time irresistibly sweet. To this spirit, combined with a rich flow of cantilena, Bellini’s operas owe their popularity. “I shall never forget,” wrote Wagner, “the impression made upon me by an opera of Bellini at a period when I was completely exhausted with the everlastingly abstract complication used in our orchestras, when a simple and noble melody was revealed anew to me.”
See also G. Labat, Bellini (Bordeaux, 1865); A. Pougin, Bellini, sa vie et ses œuvres (Paris, 1868).
BELLINZONA (Ger. Bellenz), the political capital of the Swiss canton of Tessin or Ticino. It is 105 m. from Lucerne by the St Gotthard railway, 19 m. from Lugano and 14 m. from Locarno at the head of the Lago Maggiore, these two towns having been till 1881 capitals of the canton jointly with Bellinzona. The old town is built on some hills, on the left bank of the Tessin or Ticino river, and a little below the junction of the main Ticino valley (the Val Leventina) with that of Mesocco. It thus blocked the road from Germany to Italy, while a great wall was built from the town to the river bank. Bellinzona still possesses three picturesque castles (restored in modern times), dating in their present form from the 15th century. They belonged for several centuries to the three Swiss cantons which were masters of the town. The most westerly, Castello Grande or of San Michele, belonged to Uri; the central castle, that of Montebello, was the property of Schwyz; while the most easterly castle, that of Sasso Corbaro, was in the hands of Unterwalden. The 13th-century church of San Biagio (Blaise) has a remarkable 14th-century fresco, while the collegiate church of