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Picnic Ware Fit for a Feast

Rosamond Mack, independent scholar. Giovanni Bellini (1430/1435–1516) and Titian’s (1488/1490–1576) The Feast of the Gods is one of the greatest Renaissance paintings in the United States by two fathers of Venetian art. The Feast was the first in a series of mythologies, or bacchanals, commissioned by Duke Alfonso d'Este to decorate the camerino d'alabastro (alabaster study) of his castle in Ferrara. Bellini lavished unprecedented attention on vessels and containers in the painting, which range from common Venetian wares to rare exotic imports. In this lecture recorded on September 25, 2017, as part of the Works in Progress series, Rosamond Mack describes how Bellini and Titian’s representation varies from painstaking accuracy to learned invention, imbued with wit and sophistication, which would have enhanced the painting’s value as a conversation piece for the patron and his friends.