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Tintoretto Lecture Series, Part 3—Tintoretto Central: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Eric Denker, senior lecturer and manager of gallery talks and lectures for adults, National Gallery of Art

On the occasion of the exhibition of Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice, Eric Denker, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art presents a four-part lecture series examining Jacopo Tintoretto’s work in the context of 16th-century Venetian art, history, and culture. In this third lecture, “Tintoretto Central: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco,” held on May 7, 2019, Denker discusses the decorations for the charitable confraternity Scuola Grande di San Rocco, which occupied Tintoretto for more than 25 years. In 1564 his painting San Rocco in Glory won the competition for the central ceiling canvas of the Scuola’s board room. His greatest masterpiece, the 40-foot-wide Crucifixion, was painted the following year. In the 1570s he completed the Old and New Testament cycles for the upper level of the Scuola, and in the 1580s he finished the decoration of the ground floor with scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. In all, Tintoretto executed more than 65 paintings for the brotherhood of the Scuola, a remarkable achievement for the humble cloth dyer’s son.