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Introduction to the Exhibition—Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice

Robert Echols, independent scholar, and Frederick Ilchman, chair of the art of Europe department and Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Jacopo Tintoretto (1518/1519–1594), three institutions—the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia; and the Gallerie dell’Accademia—organized a major exhibition on the Venetian master. Following its term at the Palazzo Ducale, Venice (its only other venue), Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice is on view at the Gallery from March 24 through July 7, 2019. As the first retrospective of the artist in North America, the exhibition features nearly 50 paintings and more than a dozen works on paper spanning the artist’s entire career, ranging from regal portraits of Venetian aristocracy to religious and mythological narrative scenes. Tintoretto has been considered one of the “Big Three” 16th-century Venetian painters, alongside Titian and Paolo Veronese, and works by Tintoretto’s assistants and followers have frequently been misattributed to the master. The exhibition curators, Tintoretto experts Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman, are widely responsible for a new and more accurate understanding of Tintoretto’s oeuvre and chronology, first explored in the Museo del Prado’s Tintoretto exhibition in 2007. Echols and Ilchman celebrate the exhibition opening in this introductory lecture held on March 24, 2019.