Tintoretto, Miracle of the Slave (1548)

Tintoretto (1518–1594): Mannerism (c. 1520s - 1600)

Birthplace and Family Background

Born Jacopo Comin in 1518 in Venice, Italy, Tintoretto was one of the most prominent painters of the Italian Renaissance. His family background was not particularly distinguished, but his father, Battista Comin, was a dyer, which is believed to have inspired Tintoretto's later fascination with color and pigments. The young Tintoretto displayed an early talent for art, and his journey to becoming a renowned artist was nothing short of remarkable.

Education and Training

Tintoretto's artistic education began when he became an apprentice to the famous Venetian painter Titian at the age of 12. Titian recognized the young boy's potential and took him under his wing. This apprenticeship laid the foundation for Tintoretto's remarkable career. He not only learned the technical aspects of painting but also developed a distinctive style that would set him apart from his contemporaries.

Art Style: Mannerism

Tintoretto is best known for his contributions to the Mannerist style, which emerged in the early 16th century as a reaction against the harmonious and balanced compositions of the High Renaissance. Mannerism sought to emphasize complexity, distortion, and a sense of drama in art. Tintoretto embraced this style, creating works that were dynamic, emotionally charged, and often characterized by elongated forms and unconventional compositions.

20 Notable/Famous Paintings

1. The Miracle of the Slave (1548)

Tintoretto's early masterpiece depicts a dramatic scene where St. Mark intervenes to rescue a Christian slave from his captors. The painting showcases Tintoretto's skill in rendering movement and his use of intense light and shadow.

2. The Last Supper (1594)

In this iconic rendition of the biblical event, Tintoretto's dynamic composition and dramatic lighting create a sense of urgency and solemnity. His portrayal of Jesus and the disciples is emotionally charged.

3. Paradise (1588)

An immense canvas, "Paradise" portrays a celestial realm with a multitude of figures. Tintoretto's attention to detail and the intricate arrangement of angels and saints make this work a testament to his mastery.

4. The Crucifixion (1565)

Tintoretto's interpretation of the crucifixion scene is marked by the striking contrast between the dark sky and the illuminated figures. The composition conveys the profound suffering of Christ.

5. Saint George and the Dragon (1555)

This painting showcases Tintoretto's ability to infuse mythological themes with religious undertones. St. George's battle with the dragon is depicted with a sense of heroism and drama.

6. Susanna and the Elders (1555)

Tintoretto's portrayal of the biblical story of Susanna demonstrates his ability to capture the vulnerability of the human form. The painting exudes sensuality and tension.

7. The Annunciation (1583)

Tintoretto's interpretation of the Annunciation scene is characterized by the ethereal quality of the angel and the humility of the Virgin Mary. The composition is harmonious yet emotionally charged.

8. Bacchus and Ariadne (1576)

Tintoretto's take on the mythological love story between Bacchus and Ariadne is marked by its vibrant colors and dynamic composition. The painting captures the ecstasy of the moment.

9. The Miracle of St. Mark (1562)

Depicting the miraculous intervention of St. Mark during a storm in Venice, this work showcases Tintoretto's mastery of atmospheric effects and his ability to convey divine intervention.

10. The Origin of the Milky Way (1575)

Tintoretto's version of this mythological tale is filled with celestial imagery. The painting's use of light and color creates a sense of wonder and mysticism.

11. The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple (1555)

Tintoretto's interpretation of this religious event is marked by the grandeur of the temple and the reverence of the figures. The painting captures a moment of spiritual significance.

12. The Finding of the Body of Saint Mark (1562)

Tintoretto's depiction of the discovery of St. Mark's body emphasizes the solemnity of the moment. The composition is characterized by its chiaroscuro effects.

13. The Adoration of the Golden Calf (1577)

This biblical scene is infused with tension and drama. Tintoretto's portrayal of the idolatrous worship is a testament to his ability to convey complex narratives.

14. The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (1545)

Tintoretto's rendition of this biblical miracle is marked by its abundance and the awe-struck expressions of the onlookers. The composition exudes a sense of wonder.

15. Saint Roch in Prison Visited by an Angel (1575)

Tintoretto's portrayal of St. Roch in captivity is emotionally charged. The interaction between the saint and the angel is depicted with great sensitivity.

16. Saint George and the Princess (1570)

This painting tells the story of St. George's rescue of the princess from the dragon. Tintoretto's composition is filled with movement and excitement.

17. The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1552)

Tintoretto's interpretation of the temptation of St. Anthony is marked by the surreal and nightmarish quality of the scene. The painting is a testament to his imaginative prowess.

18. The Baptism of Christ (1585)

Tintoretto's portrayal of the baptism scene is characterized by its luminous quality. The figures are bathed in divine light, emphasizing the sacred nature of the event.

19. The Resurrection of Lazarus (1570)

Tintoretto's depiction of the resurrection of Lazarus is filled with emotion and awe. The painting captures the miraculous moment with vivid intensity.

20. The Wedding Feast at Cana (1561)

Tintoretto's interpretation of this biblical event is marked by its opulence and abundance. The composition conveys the joyous celebration of the occasion.


Tintoretto's contributions to the Mannerist style left an indelible mark on the world of art. His ability to infuse drama, emotion, and spirituality into his paintings set him apart as a master of his craft. His works continue to inspire and captivate art enthusiasts and scholars alike, serving as a testament to the enduring power of Renaissance art. Tintoretto's legacy endures, reminding us of the boundless possibilities of human creativity and expression in the realm of visual arts.


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