. Bellini, Giovanni

Venetian artist who made Venice a centre of Renaissance art. His early paintings were mostly devotional but later he became one of the greatest of landscape painters.

Bellini created the soft, luminous art of saturated color that brought Venetian painting into the Renaissance and helped Venice rival Florence as the center of artistic production.

Around 1475 the Sicilian Antonello da Messina brought oil painting to Venice, and Bellini soon switched to the new technique. His vision remained contemplative and poetic, but his style became warmer and more luminous. He showed that landscape could establish mood rather than just acting as a backdrop, and he integrated figures harmoniously into his landscapes.

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Bernini, Gian Lorenzo
Italian sculptor, architect, and painter

Bernini was central to the development of the Baroque style. When he died, after having served eight popes, he was considered Europe's greatest artist.

He was the last of Italy's remark-able series of universal geniuses, and the Baroque style he helped create was the last Italian style to become an international standard. His death marked the end of Italy's artistic hegemony in Europe.

Among the most important of his large-scale works is the colonnade enclosing the piazza before St.Peters in Rome.

al-Din Bihzad, Kamal
c.1450 - 1535
Bihzad was the most famous of the Persian miniature painters.

He illustrated many Persian manuscripts, and excelled in drawings of battle scenes, which are full of dramatic movements. His work had a profound influence on later generations of Islamic painters.

Born in Herat (Afghanistan) he moved later to Tabriz in Persia. As director of the royal library, he influenced Persian painting and, through his works and students, that of India and Turkey as well.

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