Collection: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Artist information: The Italian painter Gentile Bellini became famous as the official portraitist for the Doges of Venice. Gentile was taught painting in his father's workshop. During the 1470s he worked for the Scuola Grande di San Marco. From 1474 he was employed as the official portraitist for the Venetian Doges: with 'Doge Giovanni Mocenigo' (1478) being a famous work from this period. Ventian history also served as a subject for his work. In 1479 he was chosen by the government of Venice to work for Sultan Mehmed II in Constantinople. As a cultural ambassador for Venice he was sent to Constantinople as part of the peace settlement between Venice and the Turks. His time in the East lent an oriental flavour to his paintings. Back in Venice, his last great composition, La predica di S. Marco ad Alessandria, was commissioned by the school of San Marco in 1505. His brother finished the work after his death.