'Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan', after BelliniArtist:
, British, 1838 - 1912
, Italian, 1426 - 1516
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Frame: 945 x 740mm
Support: 645 x 480mm
Accession Number: CGSG00778
This is a copy of an original portrait by Giovanni Bellini of around 1501-04. It hangs in the National Gallery, London, where Hill copied it at the suggestion of John Ruskin. Ruskin often recommended his students to copy the works of early renaissance artists to help develop strong lines and colouration in their work. He might have particularly suggested this work as Bellini was greatly admired in his lifetime for his depiction of rich fabrics and drapery, and Ruskin admired this skill too.
The elected Doge’s or Dukes of Venice ruled the huge and wealthy Venetian Republic from late Roman Times until Napoleon invaded in 1797. As well as overall governor of the Republic, Doge’s were considered to be the head of the church, the military and the civil service. Doge Leonardo Lorendan ruled the Venetian Republic between 1501 and 1521 and Bellini has depicted him wearing the traditional robes of office which include the tall, curved hat called a 'corno', and large, round knobbed buttons.