The nature of artistic exchange and the inherent complexities within it comes center stage in the new exhibition, “Mantegna and Bellini”, now on view at London’s National Gallery (through 27 January 2019). Tracing the narrative of one of the most fascinating Renaissance relationships – Mantegna and Bellini were brothers-in-law yet also artistic rivals – this exhibition has the potential to launch the next chapter of research into these two dynamic figures.

Pulling together examples by both artists from major collections around the world, “Mantegna and Bellini” reveals to its audience the ways in which these two artists’ careers were inextricably linked, not only by the bonds of family but also by the dialogue between their art and the tensions between design, illusion, and color in their work. Those who wish to witness this exchange can also visit Musebooks’ library for some exciting titles that illuminate the importance of both Venetian artists’ careers. The Complete Works of Giovanni Bellini makes for a compelling read on the oeuvre of one of Venice’s most renowned painters, while Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance showcases Mantegna’s mastery of illusion and perspective and its influence on the wider network of artists of his generation.