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Six women, eight men, two satyrs, and one child gather in pairs and trios in a loose row that spans the width of this painting, against a landscape with craggy rocks, cliffs, and trees in this nearly square painting. Most of the people face us, and the men, women, and child have pale skin while the two satyrs, who have men’s torsos and furry goat’s legs, have darker, olive complexions. Most of the men wear voluminous, knee-length togas wrapped in short robes in shades of white, topaz blue, grass green, coral orange, or rose pink. Most of the women wear long, dress-like garments in tones of shell pink, apricot orange, or lapis blue over white sleeves. For all but one woman, their garments have fallen off one shoulder to reveal a round, firm breast. Several objects are strewn on the rocky, dirt ground in front of the group, including a wide, wooden bucket with a piece of paper affixed to its front to our right, a glass goblet, a pitchfork, a large blue and white ceramic dish filled with grapes and small, yellow fruits, and an overturned cup near the center. Cliff-like, craggy rocks rise suddenly behind the group to our left, filling much of the sky opposite a tall grove of leafy, dark green trees to our right. A few puffy white clouds float across the vivid blue sky. The slip of paper on the barrel has been inscribed, “joannes bellinus venetus p MDXIIII.”

Giovanni Bellini, Titian, The Feast of the Gods, 1514/1529, oil on canvas, Widener Collection, 1942.9.1

Canceled—The Old Master: Giovanni Bellini’s Last Works

  • Sunday, May 10, 2020
  • 2:00 p.m.
  • East Building Auditorium

As a precautionary measure in light of COVID-19, the Gallery has canceled this event. We hope to welcome you to the Gallery soon and thank you for your support.

David Alan Brown, former curator and head of Italian and Spanish paintings, National Gallery of Art. A book signing of Giovanni Bellini: The Last Works follows.