From Bellini to Bingham

Rona Goffen discusses her study of the Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini, using his portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan as an example of Bellini’s use of features, light and shade, and patterns to bring out the subject’s intelligence, seriousness, and humanity. She also explores aspects of Venice and Venetians, especially their connection to ancient Greece and Byzantium.

In the second segment, Michael Shapiro discusses the history of the criticism of American art, exemplified by two mid-nineteenth-century artists, the portrait and genre painter George Caleb Bingham, and the painter and sculptor Frederic Remington. Their work may at one time have been seen as “low art” but in the late 1980s was part of a revisionist view that recognized artistry in their less formalist and less strict approach.

At the time of these interviews, Goffen, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1986-87), was professor of art history at Duke University.

Shapiro, a Fellow at the Center (1983-84), was curator at the St. Louis Art Museum.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.

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