Bellini. I. Jaeopo, an early painter of the Venetian school, born in Venice about 1405, died in 1470. He was a pupil of Gentile da Fabriano, and is said to have been taught oil painting, which was then a secret, by Andrea del Castagno, and in turn taught it to his sons, Gentile and Giovanni. Almost all his works have perished; one supposed to be authentic is in the Manfrini palace at Venice, and represents the portraits of Petrarch and Laura. II. Gentile, son of the preceding, born in 1421, died in 1507. He was employed by the Venetian government on an equal footing with his brother in decorating the hall of the grand council in the doge's palace, and was also celebrated for his portraits. His fame attracted the notice of Mohammed II., conqueror of Constantinople, and Bellini visited the grand seignior. He painted a number of pictures for "Mohammed, and also struck a medal for him, the sultan presenting him with a gold chain ami 8,000 ducats. III. Giovanni, second son of Jacopo, and generally regarded as the founder of the Venetian school, born in 1426, died in 1516 (according to some, a few years earlier). Some of his earliest works were portraits, among them that of the doge Lore-dano. He was employed by the republic to decorate the great hall of the council with a series of historical paintings, covering the entire walls.
These were destroyed by fire in 1577. He also painted a picture of the Virgin Mary surrounded by saints, for the church of San Zaccaria in Venice. One of his last works was a Bacchanal; this he left incomplete, and it was finished by Titian.