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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Giovanni Bellini's "The Blood of the Redeemer" : a public image for a private patron Kristiansen, Anne James


Giovanni Bellini's The Blood of the Redeemer has been traditionally approached in terms of its style and iconography. The two separate lines of investigation have shown the painting to be a complex image that participates in the traditions of both private and public Christ imagery. This thesis will focus on the painting with regard to both the function that it served and the Venetian context in which it was produced. The purpose of the study will be to show the work as a private devotional painting in which the public Christ type has been adapted to fulfill the needs of contemporary Venetian meditations. Chapter One will deal with the two distinct ways in which the work has been discussed and the particular problems that exist in approaching suffering Christ imagery in terms of context. Chapter Two will focus on the development and function of the full-length bleeding Christ in the private and public spheres within the context of Christ-centred piety in the fifteenth century. Chapter Three will discuss Venetian devotions to Christ with particular regard to the impact of historical events. Chapter Four will focus on the adaptation of the public Christ type in The Blood of the Redeemer. The appropriation will be discussed in terms of the liturgical resonances that are brought to the image and with regard to the use of public types in Bellini's other private Christ images. In addition, the importance of northern graphics will be examined as well as the civic associations with which the Christ type had become imbued in northern Italy. The location of the image within a particular social strata will be effected through considering the way in which it addresses contemporary intellectual issues in Venice.

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