Giovanni Bellini’s Gentle Touch
It is always a moving experience when I visit San Francesco della Vigna in the Castello section of Venice. I make a beehive for the Cappella Santa. This chapel has one of Bellini’s Madonna and Child paintings over the altar. The chapel is dark and I compose myself. I need the change to activate the light that will illuminate the painting but I am not ready yet. To know that I am about to come face to face, all by myself, with a work of sheer beauty by one of my favorite painters is too much to bear. The coin goes in and there it is.
The expressions of the figures are somber. The path they are on will lead them to suffering and yet I am filled with immense peace and tranquillity for Bellini’s brush is one of kindness and gentleness. I gaze at the center of the painting. Look at the exquisite hands of the Madonna as she holds Jesus. To me his work is sheer poetry. Giovanni Bellini, an Italian Renaissance painter, and here it is that at the end of 2022 his work is still relevant and speaks to the heart. His time was filled with turbulence as it is our own period but art has the power to uplift us and carry us on its golden wings.