Nativity Triptych - Bellini Workshop
This triptych was painted for a chapel (built before 1462) in the church of Santa Maria della Carita which is now the Accademia Galleries. The Nativity Triptych was one of four similar triptychs believed to have been painted by the Bellini family and workshop and now all in the Accademia Galleries. It is thought that the central panel is by Giovanni Bellini and also the figure of San Domenico in the lunette.
There is no documentation as to who painted them, but scholars from the time of Bernard Berenson onwards have agreed that the artists were from the Bellini family - Jacopo and his sons Gentile and Giovanni. Earlier scholars had attributed them to the Vivarini family.
The project will include: fixing areas of lifting, cleaning, photographic documentation to identify anomalies in the layers of paint and gilding; removal of discoloured varnishes, retouched areas and old gesso infills: monitoring and recalibrating of the transverse supports added in 2000; the application of a protective layer, repair of deep losses and woodworm holes, infilling of paint losses with pure and stable colours.
A series of non-invasive imaging and spectroscopic investigations will also be carried out and the data gathered from this project and and a parallell project on another triptych should yield new information on the Bellini workshop and the progress of Giovanni Bellini's artistic development from the vernacular Venetian Gothic painter to the major Renaissance artist he later became.
With thanks to Roberta Battaglia, Accademia Galleries
Photo: Archivio Fotografico G.A.VE by kind permission MiBAC