Transfiguration of Christ (Bellini)

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Transfiguration of Christ
Artist Giovanni Bellini
Year c. 1480
Medium Oil on panel
Dimensions 116 cm × 154 cm (46 in × 61 in)
Location Museo di Capodimonte, Naples

Transfiguration of Christ is the subject of two paintings by the Italian Renaissance master Giovanni Bellini, who finished them, respectively, in 1454-1460 and 1480. The earlier version is on display in the Museo Correr of Venice; the later one is now housed in the Capodimonte Gallery of Naples, Italy.

Transfiguration (c. 1455-1460). Museo Correr, Venice.

Venice Transfiguration[edit]

For a long time this earlier work attributed to Mantegna, as attested by the spurious initials in the lower right corner. It shows the Gospels episode of Mount Tabor, with Elijah and Moses flanking Christ; below them are the disciples Peter, James and John blinded by the vision.

Naples Transfiguration[edit]

This version portrays again Christ in the moment in which he reveals his divine nature to his disciples, but with substantial differences.

A comparison with the earlier Transfiguration shows Bellini's subsequent abandon of any Gothic painting heritage, as well as the influence by Mantegna. This picture shows a more relaxed style, in which the figures are freely inserted within a warmer and more natural atmosphere.

The work is signed IOANNES BELLINUS on a small chart hanging from the fence in the foreground. The leaves of the tree on the right, as well as the faces of James and Peter, are from a later restoration.

See also[edit]


  • Ballarin, A. (1987). "Bellini". Diccionario Larousse de la pintura. Planeta-De Agostini. ISBN 84-395-0649-X.