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Portrait of Jacopo Soranzo c. 1550

TINTORETTO

(Encore Edition)

This January, the Museo del Prado will be presenting the most important exhibition on the artist since the one held in the Palazzo Pesaro in Venice in 1937.  The exhibition Tintoretto will include around 70 works by the artist loaned from the collections of leading European and American museums and institutions. The exhibition is the first monographic one to be devoted to the artist in Spain as well as the first exhibition on Tintoretto of this size and importance since the one held in Venice seventy years ago. The Prado’s intention is to offer a rigorous and comprehensive survey of the artist’s long career and is itself the fruit of a lengthy and exhaustive research project which will be reflected in the accompanying catalogue.

December 2006. On 29 January 2007 King Don Juan Carlos and the President of the Italian Republic will preside over the opening of this major exhibition which will offer the public the first opportunity to discover the work of Tintoretto on this scale outside the city of Venice.

Despite being one of the greatest names in the history of painting, Jacopo Tintoretto has been the subject of scant attention on the part of museums and institutions. The limited number of exhibitions devoted to the artist can partly be explained by logistical reasons, given that many of his masterpieces are large-format canvases and are still to be found in Venice in the original buildings for which they were painted. In addition, there are also attributional reasons related to his extremely extensive output, which is often confused with that of his followers and imitators. These reasons have resulted in museological neglect, and since 1937 Tintoretto has only been the subject of exhibitions focusing on specific aspects of his work.

The Museo del Prado has aimed to compensate for this neglect, following an arduous process of research which has involved experts from the US, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Austria and Spain, who have also worked together on the rigorous selection of works for the exhibition.

The Exhibition

Featuring a selection of 49 paintings, 13 drawings and 3 sculptures, the exhibition will reveal the variety of registers in which Tintoretto worked and his interest in all the major artistic genres. In particular, it will focus on his facet as a painter of religious narratives, the field in which he produced his most renowned compositions. The exhibition will provide the first chance in 400 years to see together two of his masterpieces of religious art, painted for the church of San Marcuola: The Last Supper (church of San Marcuola, Venice), and Christ washing the Disciples’ Feet (Museo del Prado, Madrid). It will also bring together some of his most important mythological paintings (such as Venus, Vulcan and Mars, Munich, Alte Pinakothek, and The Origins of the Milky Way, London, National Gallery), as well as examples of his work as a portraitist, including the self-portraits from the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia) and the Musée du Louvre (Paris), and the Portrait of Lorenzo Soranzo from the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna).

The exhibition will pay particular attention to the artist’s creative process, placing great emphasis on the concept of “disegno” in the sense of a tool of learning, experimentation and composition, as well as on technical issues, the latter included as an integral part of the exhibition. Drawing was exceptionally important to the artist, and the exhibition features a group of works on paper. These fall into three types: drawings of classical sculptures and sculptures by Michelangelo, drawn from small models which will be displayed alongside these studies; preparatory studies for entire compositions, of which the only surviving one, for Venus and Vulcan (Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) will be displayed; and preparatory studies of individual figures, often reused by Tintoretto for various different works.

The criterion for the selection of works in the exhibition has been that of quality. Tintoretto was a prolific artist as well as an irregular one; consequently, enormous care has been taken with regard to the present selection. The first sacrifice in this respect relates to the Museo del Prado itself, some of whose works attributed to Tintoretto have been excluded from the exhibition as they lack the required quality. This does not imply that all the works in the exhibition are entirely by his own hand. The notion of authorship in the 16th century was different to the one held today and artists’ workshops relied on assistants and collaborators. In some of the paintings on display, particularly the late ones, the involvement of assistants is evident.  This is the case with The Burial of Christ (church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice), but it does not imply a reduction in quality or a diminution of Tintoretto’s unmistakable artistic style and personality.

The catalogue

The exhibition’s catalogue, whose editorial director is Miguel Falomir, will be published in Spanish and English and includes contributions by the leading international experts on the artist. The rigour and comprehensiveness of this publication will make it a reference point for future studies on Tintoretto.

The catalogue includes three essays by Miguel Falomir: an introduction to the exhibition, a text on the relation between Tintoretto and Spain, and a third one on his works as a portraitist. It also includes a chronology by Linda Borean, researcher at the University of Udine, and the following essays on the artist: “Tintoretto the Painter” by the art historian Robert Echols; “Tintoretto and the Sister Arts” by Roland Krischel, curator at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne; a text on the artist’s technique by Jill Dunkerton from the Conservation Department at the National Gallery, London; and an essay by Frederick Ilchmann, Assistant Curator of painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on Tintoretto’s religious paintings.  The entries on the works and the introductions to each section have been written by Miguel Falomir, Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchmann.

International Conference

To coincide with the exhibition, the Museo del Prado will be holding an international conference on Tintoretto on 26 and 27 February which will count on the presence of leading experts in 16th-century Venetian painting.


  Tintoretto: Self Portrait 1547/1548

List of works

  • The Virgin and Child with Saint Mark and Saint Luke
    Oil on canvas, 228 x 160
    Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie

  • Lady in Mourning
    Oil on canvas, 104 x 87 cm
    c. 1550-55
    Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

  • Venus, Vulcan and Mars
    Oil on canvas, 135 x 198 cm
    c. 1545
    Munich, Alte Pinakothek

  • Portrait of a Venetian Man
    Oil on canvas, 113 x 91 cm
    1548
    Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie

  • Lorenzo Soranzo
    Oil on canvas, 114 x 95.5 cm
    1553
    Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

  • Saint Jerome
    Oil on canvas, 143.3 x 103 cm
    1571-72
    Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

  • Susanna and the Elders
    Oil on canvas, 146.5 x 193.5 cm
    1555-56
    Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

  • Portrait of a Man
    Oil on canvas, 103 x 83 cm
    1553
    Barcelona, Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña

  • Alessandro Gritti
    Oil on canvas, 99.5 x 75 cm
    c. 1581-81
    Barcelona, Museo Nacional del Arte de Cataluña

  • Male Portrait (¿Agostino Doria ?)
    Oil on canvas, 107 x 73 cm
    c. 1555
    Madrid, Fundación Museo Cerralbo

  • The Paradise
    Oil on canvas, 169.5 x 494 cm
    c. 1587-88
    Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

  • The Last Supper
    Oil on canvas, 148.8 x 297.3 cm

    c. 1550

    Madrid, Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando

  • The Adoration of the Shepherds
    Oil on canvas, 440 x 190 cm
    1583
    Madrid, Patrimonio Nacional, Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial

  • Helena’s Kidnapping
    Oil on canvas, 186 x 307 cm

    c. 1578-79
    Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

  • Susanna and the Elders
    Oil on canvas, 58 x 116 cm

    c. 1552-55 (?)
    Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

  • Esther before Asuero
    Oil on canvas, 59 x 203 cm

    c. 1552-55 (?)
    Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

  • Judith and Holofernes
    Oil on canvas, 58 x 119 cm

    c. 1552-55 (?)
    Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

  • The Queen of Saba’s visit to Salomón
    Oil on canvas, 58 x 205 cm
    c. 1552-55 (?)

    Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

  • Joseph and Putifar’s wife
    Oil on canvas, 54 x 117 cm

    c. 1552-55 (?)
    Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

  • Moses saved from the waters
    Oil on canvas, 56 x 119 cm
    c. 1552-55 (?)

    Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

  • The Lavatory
    Oil on canvas, 210 x 533 cm
    1548-49
    Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

  • The Raising of Lazarus
    Oil on canvas, 69.2 x 79.1 cm
    1573
    Private Collection

  • The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist and Saints Zacharias, Francis, Elizabeth and Catherine
    Oil on canvas, 171.5 x 244 cm
    1540
    Private Collection

  • Tarquin and Lucretia
    Oil on canvas, 175.5 x 151.5 cm
    1578-80
    Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago

  • Apollo and Marsyas
    Oil on canvas, 140.5 x 239 cm
    1544-45
    Hartford, CT, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The Ella Gallup Summer and Mary Catlin Summer Collection Fund

  • Preparatory Design for the Mocenigo votive Altar
    Oil on canvas, 97.2 x 198.1 cm
    1571-74
    New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Stewart Kennedy Fund 1910

  • Self-portrait
    c. 1547-48

    Oil on canvas, 45.7 x 38.1 cm
    c. 1547-48
    Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • The Conversion of Saint Paul
    Oil on canvas, 152 x 236.2 cm
    c. 1544
    Washington DC, National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection 1961.9.43

  • Procurator of San Marco
    Oil on canvas, 138.7 x 101.3 cm
    c. 1570
    Washington DC, National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection 1952.5.79

  • Summer
    Oil on canvas, 105.7 x 193 cm
    c. 1546
    Washington DC, National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection 1961.9.90

  • Self-portrait
    Oil on canvas, 62.5 x 52 cm
    c. 1588
    Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures

  • Danäe
    Oil on canvas, 142 x 182 cm
    c. 1583-85
    Lyon, Musée des Beaux Arts

  • Jacopo Sansovino
    Oil on canvas, 70 x 65.5 cm
    1571
    Florence, Polo Museale Fiorentino, Galleria degli Uffizi

  • Jesus among the Doctors
    Oil on canvas, 197 x 319 cm
    h. 1542
    Milan, Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano, Museo del Duomo

  • Portrait of Jacopo Soranzo
    Oil on canvas, 75 x 60 cm
    c. 1550
    Milan, Civica Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco

  • The Presentation in the Temple
    Oil on canvas, 239 x 298 cm
    Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia

  • Saint George, Saint Louis and the Princess
    Oil on canvas, 226 x 146 cm
    1552
    Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia

  • Saint Andrew and Saint Jerome
    Oil on canvas, 255 x 145 cm
    1552
    Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia

  • The Burial of Chirst
    Oil on canvas, 288 x 166 cm
    1594
    Venice, San Giorgio Maggiore Church, Capella dei Morti

  • The Last Supper
    Oil on canvas, 157 x 443 cm
    1547
    Venice, Curia Patriarcale di Venezia, Chiesa di San Marcuola

  • The Last Supper
    Oil on canvas, 221 x 413 cm
    Venice, Curia Patriarcale di Venezia, Chiesa di San Trovaso

  • Saint Augustine curing the Lame
    Oil on canvas, 255 x 175 cm
    Vicenza, Musei Civici, Pinacoteca di Palazzo Chiericati

  • Male Portrait
    Oil on canvas, 130 x 97.5 cm

    1547

    Otterlo, The Netherlands, Kröller-Müller Museum

  • The Burial of Christ
    Oil on canvas, 164 x 127.5 cm
    c. 1563
    Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland. Purchased with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 1984

  • The Origins of the Milky Way
    Oil on canvas, 148 x 165 cm
    1577-79
    London, The National Gallery

  • Saint George and the Dragon
    Oil on canvas, 158.3 x 100.5 cm
    c. 1553
    London, The National Gallery. Holwell Carr Bequest, 1931

  • Esther before Ahasuerus
    Oil on canvas, 202 x 262 cm
    c. 1547-48
    London, Royal Collection Trust

  • The Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence
    Oil on canvas, 126 x 191 cm
    c. 1578-80
    Oxford, by permission of the Governing Body of Christ Church

  • Nude male Figure turned to the Left holding an Object
    Black chalk, blue-toned, squared-up paper, 31.4 x 20.7 cm
    London, Victoria & Albert Museum

  • Study of the Head of Giuliano de’ Medici by Michelangelo
    Lead white, green-grey paper attached to another sheet of paper, 35.3 x 23.3 cm
    Oxford, by permission of the Governing Body of Christ Church

  • Study of “Samson and the Philistine” by Michelangelo
    Charcoal with lead white highlights, faded blue-toned paper,
    30.3 x 26.3 cm
    Oxford, by permission of the Governing Body of Christ Church

  • Study of Samson and the Philistine by Michelangelo
    Black chalk, lead white, blue-toned paper, 40.4 x 25.8cm
    Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett

  • Venus and Vulcan
    Pen, brush, black ink, lead white, blue paper, 20.4 x 27.3cm
    c. 1545
    Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett

  • Seated male Nude turned to the Left
    Charcoal, squared-up blue paper, 24.2 x 14.2 cm
    c. 1559-60
    Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum

  • Study of the Bust of Vitellius
    Black chalk, touches of white, greenish-blue paper,
    28.3 x 23.3 cm
    Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung

  • Male Nude bending to the Left
    Charcoal, squared-up green-blue paper, 30.8 x 20.5 cm
    c. 1578-80
    Florence, Polo Museale Fiorentino. Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe

  • Two male Figures, one kneeling, the other leaning
    Charcoal, lead white, blue-toned paper squared up with charcoal, 21.6 x 43 cm
    c. 1554-56 ( ?)
    Florence, Polo Museale Fiorentino, Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe

  • Study of an Archer
    Charcoal and lead white, white paper squared-up with charcoal, 28.5 x 21.8 cm
    c. 1578-79
    Florence, Polo Museale Fiorentino, Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe

  • Study of “Dusk” by Michelangelo
    Charcoal, lead white, blue-toned paper, 37 x 27.1 cm
    Florence, Polo Museale Fiorentino. Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe

  • Nude male Figure turned to the Left holding a Lance
    Black chalk, touches of white, blue-toned paper, 26.2 x 19.1 cm
    Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Koenigs Collection

  • Clothed male Figure with raised Arms
    Charcoal with lead white highlights, squared-up paper, 34.8 x 23.7 cm
    c. 1563
    London, British Museum

  • Vithelio
    Anonymous
    Bust
    Marble, 55 x 27 x 24 cm

    Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

  • Dusk
    Terracotta, 53 x 56 x 26 cm
    Florence, Polo Museale Fiorentino, Museo Nazionale del Bargello

  • Samson and two Philistines
    Bronze, 37.2 cm high
    Florence, Polo Museale Fiorentino, Museo Nazionale del Bargello