Saturday, October 11, 2008


In Italy, Bellini can be different things. It is a 20th century drink, a 19th century composer and a 16th century artist.

Vincenzo Bellini (1801 – 1835) was a Sicilian opera composer.

The Bellini cocktail consists of puréed white peaches and Prosecco. The original recipe was made with a bit of raspberry or cherry juice to give the drink a pink glow. The Bellini was invented sometime between 1934 and 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry's Bar in Venice. Because of its unique pink color, which reminded Cipriani of the color of the toga of a saint in a painting by the Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini, he named the drink the Bellini

Today we enjoyed a visit to the Scuderie del Quirinale for a wonderful exhibition of Giovanni Bellini, 1430-1516. There were 70 paintings which make up about 75% of his known works, both sacred and secular. The exhibit allowed us to experience large altar panels and small devotional paintings. The expressions on the faces depicted by Bellini were mesmerizing, and I found myself enjoying his treatment of landscapes, with detailed flora and fauna. The galleries were painted a very dark red and the lighting was focused only on the paintings, making the intense colors seem almost alive.

I was not able to take photos in the exhibition, but here are two reproductions so you can appreciate this exciting early 16th century artist.

No comments: