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Explore other parts of Asolo possibly related to the paiting ...
Or go back to the St Francis painting ..
St Francis in Ecstasy.jpg

the blue hill 

The route up to Caterina Conaro's castle is an easy stretch from Asolo's main square, and from the staircase up to the civic bell tower, now a theatre, the view of the flat Veneto landscape from the east is impressive. Bellini's description of a distant landscape in the St Francis painting is not flat, and I did not think this view was relevant until I was back in the UK putting this website together. However, from this viewpoint we can see a blue hill very similar to the distant hill described in the St Francis painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such details bring us back to the possibility that Bellini may have visited Asolo and that his description of the appearance of a blue hill may have been made from drawings made from a landscape site outside of Venice where his his workshop was based. Certainly Asolo attracted much attention from Renaissance painters and writers during Bellini's lifetime. In 1489 it became the residence of Caterina Cornaro, and Pietro Bembo set his “Gli Asolani” dialogues in this palace and its gardens. Perhaps Bellini was part of this circle of humanists and artists, staying in Asolo and exploring the landscape away from the confines of the workshop and the suffocating heat of Venice in the summer. Let us consider then that the distant blue hill in the St Francis may therefore be set in dialogue with the towered fortress, which could very well be Asolo. 

 

The blue hill.jpg