Painting technique

Bellini’s fluid brushwork in oil paint, in which colours “flow” into one another, represents a marked contrast to Mantegna’s precise brushstrokes, applied almost like in a drawing. The different painting techniques of both artists are especially perceptible in the Presentation in the Temple in the area of Simon’s beard or in the loose locks of hair in Mantegna’s Virgin with Child in contrast to Bellini’s flat hairstyles.

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left:
Giovanni Bellini: The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, detail, about 1450-75, oil on panel, 80 x 105 cm © Fondazione Querini Stampalia Onlus, Venezia

right:
Andrea Mantegna: The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, detail, about 1454, egg tempera on canvas, 77,5 x 94,4 cm © Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Photo: Christoph Schmidt