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Tintoretto Lecture Series, Part 2—Tintoretto: The Early Work

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 second lecture, “Tintoretto: The Early Work,” held on April 23, 2019, Denker investigates Tintoretto’s formative years as an artist. According to early biographers, Tintoretto only briefly studied with the eminent painter Titian early in his career. The ambitious young son of a cloth dyer drew his inspiration from both the older master’s works and from a variety of younger, more experimental artists during his formative years. Tintoretto’s work was informed both by the example of Pordenone as a kind of anti-Titian mannerist and by the experimentation of younger collaborators, including Andrea Schiavone and Bonifacio dei’ Pitati. By the time Tintoretto was 30, his own painting had reached a new level of sophistication and confidence, as seen in St. Mark and the Miracle of the Slave, which he painted for the Scuola Grande di San Marco in 1548.