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Tintoretto – Virtual Tour


Tintoretto – Virtual Tour

Tintoretto (1518 – 1594) was an Italian painter of the Venetian school. His contemporaries noted the speed with which he painted and the unprecedented boldness of his brushwork.

For his phenomenal energy in painting, he was termed “Il Furioso.” His work was characterized by his muscular figures, dramatic gestures, and bold use of perspective.

Tintoretto loved all the arts and, as a youth, played the lute and various instruments, some of them of his invention, and designed theatrical costumes and properties. He was also well versed in mechanics and mechanical devices.

For the sake of his work, Tintoretto lived in a mostly retired fashion, and even when not painting, he preferred his working room surrounded by his collection of casts. He kept his work methods secret, which he shared only with his assistants.

A Virtual Tour of Tintoretto

Highlights Tour of Tintoretto

The Origin of the Milky Way

“The Origin of the Milky Way” by Tintoretto depicts the myth about the infant Heracles who was brought to the Greek goddess Hera to be nursed as an infant.

In the ancient Greek version of the tale, Hera nursed Heracles out of pity, but he suckled so strongly that in pain, Hera pushed him away. Her milk sprayed across the heavens and there formed the Milky Way. 

Fortunately for Heracles, he acquired supernatural powers with the divine milk. In the Roman version of the myth, the Roman god Jupiter wished to immortalize his infant son Hercules, whose mother was a mortal.

To achieve this end, he held Hercules to the breasts of the sleeping and unaware Roman goddess Juno and her milk spurted upwards to form the Milky Way. Museum: The National Gallery, London

Saint George and the Dragon

“Saint George and the Dragon” by Tintoretto depicts the legend of the saint slaying a dragon that demanded human sacrifices and thereby rescuing the princess chosen as the next offering.

The earliest Byzantine icons representing Saint George as a horseman killing the dragon are dated to the 12th century. 

Pictures of Saint George and the Dragon became popular in the Byzantine art of Eastern Europe and was introduced into the Western Christian art tradition by the Crusades.

The small size of this canvas suggests it was painted for personal use and not for display in a large church. Museum: The National Gallery, London

Saint Mark’s Body Brought to Venice

“Saint Mark’s Body Brought to Venice” by Tintoretto depicts three people carry the body of Saint Mark. The sky in the background is red and dark and contains a lightning strike.

The threatening sky refers to the hailstorm that came down when the killers of Saint Mark wanted to burn him on a pyre, which can be seen in the center of the painting.

In the original painting, this man pulling a cloth was fighting with another man over Saint Mark’s clothing; this part of the art has been cut off. 

Venices’s prestige increased with the acquisition, from Alexandria, of relics claimed to be of St Mark the Evangelist in 828.

However, the saint died in 68 AD, nearly 800 years before the stealing of his body, so his remains would not have been in the state depicted by Tintoretto. Museum:  Gallerie dell’Accademia

Self-Portrait as a Young Man

“Self-Portrait as a Young Man” by Tintoretto is an early and forceful self-portrait, created with the aid of a mirror. Portraits of artists became popular with collectors during the Renaissance. 

Tintoretto was known as a recluse who preferred his own company, who rarely smiled. Museum: Victoria and Albert Museum

“Christ at the Sea of Galilee” by Circle of Tintoretto

“Christ at the Sea of Galilee” by Lambert Sustris or a member of the Circle of Tintoretto, depicts Jesus Christ as he raises a hand toward the apostles, who are in a boat on massive waves and beneath stormy skies.

Christ is depicted backlit by the rising sun on the shore of Lake Galilee as he appears to the seven men in a boat. This painting tells the story in the Gospels of John when the apostles had been fishing all night without success.

Christ told them to cast their nets to the right side of the boat, where the catch would be plentiful. When Peter saw Christ, he jumped into the water to swim to shore.

As the sunrise begins to brighten the waves and sky, Peter extends his leg from the boat. Museum: National Art Gallery, DC

Self-Portrait as a Young Man


Tintoretto: A collection of 226 paintings

A Tour of Artists you should Know

Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice

Tintoretto Quotes


“You can never do too much drawing.”


“Beautiful colors can be bought in the shops, but good drawing can only be bought from the casket of the artist’s talent with patient study and nights without sleep.”


Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice

Tintoretto: A collection of 267 Paintings

Tintoretto: A Rebel In Venice 


“Grant me paradise in this world; I’m not so sure I’ll reach it in the next.”
– Tintoretto


Photo Credit: 1) Tintoretto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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