Christ Crowned with Thorns
oil on wood
103 x 64 cm
Giovanni Bellini's meaning to me grows in such a slow and imperceptible way that I am surprised at every (re)encounter with his work.
Being teacher, sponsor and probably the most influential interface of Venetian painting, John Ruskin and later Theodor Hetzer consider him the most important Italian painter, and "freezing by enthusiasm" always applies to me too.
Since I like to believe my own eyes, I would not have needed art historical safeguarding.
I love the "Venetians" and Pietro Longhi, as well as Morandi and Howard Hodgkin for their faith that you can transmit concrete contents with color.
To my knowledge Giovanni Bellini was the first to communicate this idea also as a teacher.
I don't really read his "Dead Christ" in its extremely reduced palette as a depiction. His understanding of the subject leads to an "experience area". A sheer presence of the dead being. Formally he is closer to Robert Ryman than to his contemporaries. He abandons the idea of representative painting in favour of painting the presence of a sensual experience area. The old Titian formally follows this idea with his own unique temperament, and this is just as evident in the late Morandi. I encountered the Stockholm picture for the first time only recently. How intensively this encounter pursued me, I really felt when this experience without cause wanted to be shaped in the painting process.
Matthias Kanter, 2016
Matthias Kanter (DE)
Christo Motto zu G. Bellini
acrylic on canvas
100 x 80 cm