Mantegna and Bellini: Painting the Renaissance

Wednesday 7 & 14  November, 2–4pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Caroline Brooke

Full price £42

Concessions £36

Members £34

From landscapes to portraits and the body to the divine, investigate how Mantegna and Bellini revolutionised Renaissance painting

Discover in this two-week lecture course why the art of Mantegna and Bellini is so significant for the development of art in the Western tradition and explore how the creative exchange between Mantegna and Bellini spurred them on to create paintings of unsurpassed beauty and originality.

The course, led by art historian Caroline Brooke, comprises lectures in the theatre followed by time for discussion.

Week one

Wednesday 7 November


Family ties

How did family ties bring together these two brilliant painters of the Italian Renaissance and shape the art of the era?


The power of place

Let’s travel back to Venice, Padua, and Mantua. How did the thriving cities where Mantegna and Bellini lived, trained, and worked influence their paintings?



What was life like for artists working in Venice, Padua, and Mantua? Who were the brothers-in-law painting for? How did the tastes and desires of their patrons impact their art?

Week two

Wednesday 14 November


Inspiration and innovation

Why were Mantegna and Bellini’s works so prized? Find out how the classical world inspired their creativity. Discover the innovative approach each took when representing traditional subject matter.


Inside the Renaissance workshop

What was it like inside the Renaissance workshop? What techniques did Mantegna and Bellini use to create their works? Investigate their preferred approaches and find out how they were trained.



What makes the art of Mantegna and Bellini so significant? How did their art impact subsequent generations of Renaissance artists?

Tutor's biography

Caroline Brooke is an art historian and lectures at the V&A Museum and the Courtauld Institute. She was an associate lecturer at Birkbeck College, London for many years. She has published articles on Venetian Drawings and is researching narrative paintings in 16th-century Venice.

Image above: Detail from Giovanni Bellini, Madonna of the Meadow, about 1500–5