Sacred allegory - Giovanni Bellini. 73x119
Giovanni Bellini, whose work influenced the whole of Venetian painting and, above all, its mood, left behind a riddle that still cannot be solved: what is the plot of the picture "Sacred allegory"? This abstract name was given to her because no one could exactly answer the question.
The artist depicted the so-called holy interview: the saints will be seated on the throne of Our Lady. Among them you can distinguish Paul with a sword, chasing a man in a turban, Peter, leaning on a balustrade and guarding the entrance to the site, Sebastian with an arrow in his chest and Jobhands prayerfully clasped. But the composition of the “holy interview”, always the same when Bellini or other artists turned to this central plot, is turned sideways to the viewer and becomes one of the presented motives. Another is babies playing under a tree. In their group stands out the one who holds an apple in his hands, symbolizing human sins. This child may be the Christ who has come into the world to atone for sins, and the babies around him - souls who have fallen into purgatory, for which the saints pray. The river is most likely the Summer, separating this world from the world of the living, which is visible on the middle and distant planes. Anachorite prays in the cave, a centaur wanders nearby, personifying temptations, and people live their ordinary lives even further.