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A truly Cultural Cocktail: The Bellini!


Leticia Marie Sanchez

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark

And now, for a delicious libation that epitomizes the Cultural Cocktail!

Toast Bellini!

You can share this trivia the next time you are at a cocktail party and become the toast of the fete!

Did you know that the Bellini cocktail was named after the Venetian Renaissance painter, Giovanni Bellini?

The history of this popular drink harkens back to Harry’s Bar in Venice.  A Who’s Who of artistic luminaries frequented this bar including Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Orson Welles, Arturo Toscanini, Peggy Guggenheim, and Alfred Hitchcock.

In 1948, Harry’s Bar owner Giuseppe Cipriani created a concoction blending peach puree and Prosecco. He named the refreshing cocktail a “Bellini,” after the sumptuous peach hue on the toga of a saint painted by Giovanni Bellini.

This exquisite painting (Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist and a Female Saint in a Landscape) once hung at Venice’s Gallerie dell’ Accademia but is now on view at the Getty Center.

Perhaps this is the exact painting that inspired Mr. Cipriani?

Look at the detail of the shiny peach colored sash of the saint.

Full Bellini paintingGo see the painting for yourself at the Getty Center.

  • Tune in to Cultural Cocktail Hour for more details on two enlightening new exhibits at the Getty Center that just opened on October 10th: Giovanni Bellini: Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice and Sacred Landscapes: Nature in Renaissance Manuscripts.



Detail bellini saint

Image and detail from: Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist and a Female Saint in a Landscape. Giovanni Bellini (Venice, ca-1435-1516). Ca 1501, panel, 54 X 76 cm. Venice, Gallerie dellAccademia, inv. No 881 (Moschini Marconi). Image Courtesy of Getty Center. 


Posted by on October 11th, 2017

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