Citations 0
The Cover
April 5, 2000

St Jerome Reading

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2000;283(13):1659. doi:10.1001/jama.283.13.1659

Giovanni Bellini (c 1427-1516) was the last and longest-lived of the great Bellini painting dynasty of Venice. He was son of Jacopo, half-brother of Gentile, and brother-in-law of Andrea Mantegna, and his subjects ranged from raucous mythologies such as The Feast of the Gods and The Infant Bacchus (JAMA covers, November 22/29, and December 13, 1995) to solemn altarpieces and Madonnas. Giovanni was, in fact, known officially as a Madonnieri, the best in Venice. But, to 21st-century eyes, it is perhaps his landscapes that are the most captivating. Not recognized forms in his day, the landscapes were disguised under the rubric of "devotional works." They comprise whole vistas of rocks and trees and animals spread across the picture surface, to which a tiny St Francis or a Christ figure or a St Jerome has been added, almost as an afterthought. In St Jerome Reading (cover), for example, the saint is consigned to the lower right corner, a footnote inserted within the text to defend its existence.

First page PDF preview