Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings

Exhibition Website

Oct 16 2018 - Jan 27 2019

Jacopo Tintoretto was one of the preeminent Venetian painters of the sixteenth century, renowned for his monumental narrative scenes and his insightful portraits of patricians and citizens. In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the artist's birth, this exhibition explores an innovative and little-studied aspect of Tintoretto's portraiture: small-scale, informal portrait heads characterized by immediacy, intense observation, and startling modernity. These works capture both the appearance and the spirit of the sitter, and are painted with the artist's famous prestezza, or quickness.

The exhibition brings together for the first time approximately ten portrait studies from European and American museums and private collections, drawing them into a larger discussion of the artist's portraiture and approach to painting. The exhibition also highlights significant facets of artistic practice in the Tintoretto workshop, in particular the dynamic relationship between Jacopo and his son Domenico, through a series of figural drawings and a painting in The Met collection, The Finding of Moses, whose long-debated attribution to both father and son will play a key role in the discussion of this flourishing workshop.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website 
Image: Jacopo Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti) (Italian, 1518/19–1594), ‘Portrait of a Man (Self-Portrait?)’ (detail), 1550s? Oil on canvas, private collection. (JT.003). Metropolitan Museum of Art image

Whether you go or not, Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice is a lavishly-illustrated study, published to coincide with the 500th anniversary (2018) of the artist’s birth. It 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. Explores Tintoretto’s artistic activity and situates his life and work in the context of his contemporaries and of the Renaissance in Italy. Tintoretto (1518 or 1519–1594) was known for the remarkable energy of his work and 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.

Select Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice to learn more, or to place this book in your Amazon shopping cart. Your Amazon purchase through this link supports ArtGeek with a small commission. 

  • Various Media
  • European
  • 15th - 17th Century
  • Jacopo Tintoretto
  • Domenico Tintoretto

Exhibition Venues & Dates