Bellini

I had some time during my stay in Milano and went to the Palazzo di Brera to see the exhibition of late medieval painter Giovanni Bellini. Interesting. On the one hand, I am in awe of these pieces of historic art, many centuries old, corner stones of European art history. The paintings are exquisitely done, with ample gold, and expressive, if a bit stiff, facial expressions. It’s a real experience to see these in their originals.

But what did Bellini paint? Jesus, then Jesus with some angels, scenes from the bible, Jesus with angels again and then more of Jesus. Jesus! And Jesus was also always bleeding in the same spots. Can’t you think of something else, Giovanni? That’s the most prominent painter of his age? I know that I am judging from a 21st century perspective, but it is clear that European creativity was crunched by Christianity for a good 1500 years, from the collapse of the Roman Empire to early Modernity. That’s why Nietzsche hated Christianity with such a passion!

Creepy: a lot of the angles looked like pre-pubescent children with wings. Is that what these people were hoping for in the afterlife? Church men’s tastes haven’t changed much in a few centuries it seems. Yikes!