THE island of Murano, practically a suburb of Venice, had developed a brilliant industry in all kinds of mosaic and other glass manufacture. Its palaces and churches were nearly as magnificent, its merchants as princely, as those of Venice itself, and by 1400 its painting became important.
The partners-- Giovanni and Antonio da Murano--are the leading painters of the school. Later ( 1446) Giovanni drops out of sight, and Antonio takes into partnership his younger and more important brother, Bartolommeo, who by 1457 worked independently and assumed the name of Vivarini, but does not entirely break with tradition. The school never became really modern, and it ends with Alvise Vivarini, the nephew of Bartolommeo. From 1450-1500 the two schools of the Vivarini and the Bellini divide the art of Venice and finally mingle.
The Muranese school is not to be sharply distinguished from the transitional Venetian school. Yet the earliest painting signed by Antonio alone (apparently before the partnership with Giovanni)--an Altarpiece in the Cathedral, Parenzo--is a distinct advance over Jacobello and Giambono, and even suggests Bartolommeo Vivarini and Crivelli. Another, The Adoration of the Magi ( Berlin), shows derivative motives of Pisanello and Gentile, but also a freshness, a vivid invention, a love of life for itself, which are Venetian, and which forecasts the mode of the later____________________