Bellini's father was the painter Jacopo Bellini and his brother was the artist Gentile Bellini who he worked with closely throughout his life. They worked in their father's workshop and were their father's assistants as he worked in and around Venice.
He worked with tempera in his early pictures, and what is strange (or weird) to behold when you look at the early work is how he combined a severe and rigid style with a depth of genuine religious feeling enveloping a gentle humanity. So you find the piece gives off a aura of strictness but within the strictness you in turn find tenderness. For me, that gives the work a kind of otherness, or not-of-this-world-type feeling.
This juxtapositioning is almost seamless when you get to his later work. It's as it should be. And the colours are all the more striking which he achieved by layering colors in new and varied ways.
In 1479 Bellini took his brother's place in continuing the painting of great historical scenes in the Hall of the Great Council in Venice. During that year and the next he devoted his time and energy to this project, painting six or seven new canvases. These, his greatest works, were destroyed by fire in 1577.
He became one of the greatest landscape painters of all time. And he lived to see his own school of painting achieve dominance and acclaim. His pupils included Titian.
Bellini died in Venice in 1516.