Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings

16 October 2018–27 January 2019

Exhibition Overview

Tintoretto Metropolitan

Jacopo Tintoretto, The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, 1545–50, oil on canvas

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 five hundredth 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.

(Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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