The dead Christ is supported by grieving angels. Bellini made such images both as individual works and as parts of altarpieces. This picture was probably for private meditation. It is intended to focus the believer on Christ as the sacrifice for human sin.

This is considered an early work by Bellini.


  • Title: The Dead Christ supported by Two Angels
  • Creator: Giovanni Bellini
  • Date Created: about 1465-70
  • Physical Dimensions: 95 × 71.7 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • School: Italian (Venetian)
  • More Info: Explore the National Gallery’s paintings online
  • Inventory number: NG3912
  • Artist Dates: active about 1459; died 1516
  • Artist Biography: Giovanni Bellini was born into the leading dynasty of Venetian painters. He seems to have been the younger brother of Gentile Bellini. His development was first shaped by his father, Jacopo. His brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna also influenced early works, such as 'The Blood of the Redeemer' and 'The Agony in the Garden'. The visit of Antonello da Messina to Venice in 1475-6 may also have influenced him. Many signed paintings survive, as well as a number of workshop productions, including works on this screen. 'The Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr' is now thought to be by him rather than by his workshop. In his old age Bellini executed a few secular narrative paintings, of which the greatest is 'The Feast of the Gods', later modified by Titian.
  • Acquisition Credit: Mond Bequest, 1924

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