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St Francis in Ecstasy.jpg

the foothills

I arrived in early evening and had to take a walk up to see the landscape again from the castle which Michael Rosenthal first showed me when I studied in Venice.

The view was the same, about half way up the path to the castle and I remember Michael talking about it. The low lying plain of the Po Valley can be seen from this point and Michael suggested that the hills were akin to Bellini's landscape description in the St Francis painting. I agree, particularly in reference to the landscape above the shepherd herding his sheep in the background of the picture that the landscape here and Bellini's landscape description of distant rolling hills are very similar.




I am not claiming that Bellini's distant landscape in the St Francis is a topographically accurate view. Far from it, I feel more and more certain through researching this work that the whole painting is a landscape invention, composed of various, sometimes specific landscape parts. However, a castle mounted on a hill, and the fortress of Asolo's central position within it, suggest to me that if this is Asolo, Bellini may be describing the summit of Mount Ricco itself in this section of the painting. And what of the hill? There is a distant blue hill in this section of the painting, can this be located from any other view point in Asolo? Click below to find out.


Asolo hill section, 2012.jpg
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