Oil Transfer

The Lovers
c. 1525
Oil on panel, transferred to canvas, 163 x 337 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg


Giovanni Bellini, Young Woman at Her Toilette, 1515, oil on canvas, 62 x 79 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Source

Giovanni Bellini, San Zaccaria Altarpiece, 1505, oil on canvas, transferred from wood, 402 x 273 cm, San Zaccaria, Venice. Source

Giovanni Bellini, Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan, 1501, oil on panel, 62 x 45 cm, The National Gallery, London. Source

The Bellini family - Giovanni (c.1430-1516), his brother Gentile (1429-1507) and their father Jacopo (1396-1470) - were considered by many to be three of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance, their work influencing numerous other Venetian artists, such as Giorgione and Titian. The painter Andrea Mantegna also became brother-in-law to Giovanni and Gentile after marrying their sister Nicolosia.

Giovanni’s career was exceptional, lasting around 65 years. His work is strongly praised for both its emphasis on natural light and use of vivid colours - especially greens, I have noticed! I personally like the refinement of his portraits, and the nobleness exuded in pieces like the Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan, which is one of my all-time favourite Renaissance portraits. Fans of religious art should check out his work at San Giobbe and San Zaccharia. These compositions are typical of Venetian altarpieces, with beautiful rich colours, Middle-Eastern influences, and exceptional verticality. 

Lemon Herb Roasted Potato Nuggets

Author: Barry C. Parsons


  • 6- 8 large sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½ to 2 inch chunks
  • juice of one lemon
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup olive oil 
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp dried herbs, oregano, thyme and rosemary are good choices
  • 1 whole garlic bulb broken into about 4 pieces (optional)


  1. Parboil the potatoes in salted water for about 3-4 minutes, no longer.
  2. Meanwhile in a 375 degree F oven, heat a baking pan of sufficient size to hold your potatoes without crowding them. A glass or metal pan is fine, as long as it is well heated beforehand. This will help to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pan.
  3. After parboiling, drain the potatoes and let them stand for 5 minutes. Then toss the potatoes with the lemon juice.
  4. Toss together so that the potatoes absorb the lemon juice.
  5. Add the salt, pepper, herbs, garlic cloves and olive oil.
  6. Transfer the seasoned potatoes, garlic and oil to the hot baking pan. These should sizzle as they hit the pan; a good indication that they will not stick. Roast the potatoes for about 60-75 minutes or until they are nicely golden brown all over, turning them every 20 minutes or so. After the first 10 minutes, give the pan a shake to make sure the potatoes are not stuck to it. The roasted garlic may have to be removed before the potatoes are finished as it generally cooks faster.