Tintoretto's Self portrait

Yes, he is! Tintoretto's Self portrait

Le paradis de Tintoret at the Louvre


The main reason of this brief article is the exhibition about "Le paradis de Tintoret: Un concours pour le Palais des Doges (Tintoretto's paradise: a concourse for the Dodge's Palace)" that will be held in the Louvre till May 8 th . The exhibition -that will continue on the Thyssen Museum of Madrid from June 8 th till August 25 th - will show Tintoretto's artistic production for the Dodge's Palace in Venice in 1580 and 1588.


Tintoretto is the most flamboyant of the Venetian masters (not the best, such honour can only be reclaimed by Titian or Giorgione) and his magna opera closes not only the Venetian splendour till the apparition of the Canaletto era, but also makes him the last of the Cinquecento masters.

There is something michelangesque in Tintoretto's taste for heroical, colossal works, not only in terms of dimensions, but also in unusual proportions and compositions (Christ washing the Disciple's feet) or forced perspectives (Esther and Ahasuerus) The difficulty of his works often makes Tintoretto looks a bit "unpolished", but also passionate and almost romantic. Although in his woks is highly difficult, almost impossible to find the "perfection" we can find in Giorgione, the late Titian or even in Sebastiano del Piombo's portraits, no other old master -with the possibly exception of Rubens and, of course, Michelangelo) have demonstrated such artistic vigor, such fecundity in his talent, and such absence of fear in front of the empty canvas.


Prices are surprisingly low, and it's still quite easy to obtain a very pretty portrait for under $100,000 or even $50,000, but you'll have to look carefully, since many of his works show signs of the collaboration of his study, with the subsequent loss of quality and commercial value. A nice portrait of a Venetian Senator from the Washington Univesity Gallery of Art was sold at Sotheby's New York for a mere $57,000 in May 2003, while a much more important "Portrait of Sebastiano Veniero" fetches €235,000 ($280,000) in Sotheby's Milan in June 2004. TNT's biblical compositions are also relatively cheap: "Agony in the garden" from the Pierpont Morgan Library fetches $260,000 two years ago at Sotheby's New York , and an early, monumental "The Last Supper" went for only £117,000 at the same auction house at London , in the summer of 2003.

Although in the art market sometimes quality does not accompany quantity, Tintoretto remains undervalued, and I think that his works can be an excellent inversion if you choose them carefully.

Well, that's all folks. Surely our friend TNT deserves a much longer article, but I have put this essay in my "brief" section, so brief will be.

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