In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Jacopo Tintoretto (1518/1519–1594), the National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia with the special cooperation of the Gallerie dell’Accademia, present a major exhibition on the Venetian master. Following its opening at the Palazzo Ducale, Venice, Tintoretto: the Artist of Venice at 500 will be hosted by the National Gallery—its only other venue—from March 10 through July 7, 2019.
As the first retrospective of the artist in North America, the exhibition will include many significant international loans traveling to the U.S. for the first time. The exhibition features nearly 50 paintings and more than a dozen works on paper spanning the artist’s entire career and ranging from regal portraits of Venetian aristocracy to religious and mythological narrative scenes.
The exhibition curators are Tintoretto experts Robert Echols, independent scholar, and Frederick Ilchman, chair of the Art of Europe department and Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. While Tintoretto was considered one of the “Big Three” 16th-century Venetian painters alongside Titian and Paolo Veronese during his lifetime and in the succeeding centuries, works by Tintoretto’s assistants and followers have frequently been misattributed to the master. Echols and Ilchman are widely responsible for a new and more accurate understanding of Tintoretto’s oeuvre and chronology, first explored in the Museo del Prado’s Tintoretto exhibition in 2007.
Whether or not you go, the lavishly-illustrated exhibition catalog, Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice, features more than forty of Tintoretto’s paintings, including many large-scale pieces that convey the breadth and power of his narrative works, along with a sample of his finest drawings. An international group of scholars explores Tintoretto’s artistic activity and situates his life and work in the context of his contemporaries’ work and of the Renaissance in Italy, providing a fundamental point of reference for modern scholarship and an essential introduction to the artist’s career and oeuvre. Jacopo Tintoretto was known for the remarkable energy of his work. His contemporary Giorgio Vasari described him as the “most extraordinary brain that painting has ever produced.” Tintoretto is admired for his dramatic treatments of sacred and secular narrative subjects and his insightful portraits of the Venetian aristocracy. His bold and expressive brushwork, which made his paintings seem unfinished to his contemporaries, is now recognized as a key step in the development of oil-on-canvas painting.
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