The Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto (1518–94) is an ambiguous figure in the history of art. Critics and writers such as Vasari, Ruskin and Sartre all placed him in opposition to the established artistic practice of his time, noting that he had abandoned the values that typified the venerable Venetian Renaissance tradition, even being expelled as an apprentice from the workshop of Titian.
This generously illustrated book offers a long-overdue re-evaluation of Tintoretto. Tom Nichols charts the artist’s life and work in the context of Venetian art and the culture of the Cinquecento. He shows how the artist created a new manner of painting, which for all its originality and sophistication made its first appeal to the shared emotions of the widest-possible viewing audience. The book deals extensively with Tintoretto’s greatest works, including the paintings at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice.
‘A wonderfully informative and entertaining new study of the painter. The first full-length account of the artist’s life and work to appear in English for nearly 50 years.’ – Sunday Telegraph Magazine
‘Nichols . . . is at pains to point out how far this at once exhilarating and exasperating painter went against the Venetian grain. Nichols persuasively shows he hew cultivated “poverty”, in terms of technique, iconography and professional identity . . . a good book.’ – The Independent
‘By relating the pictures to the changes in cinquecento Venice, Nichols identifies the nature of and suggests the reasons for Tintoretto’s unorthodox style. The many, excellent illustrations in Tintoretto can be admired for the own sake, but the text demands to be closely read.’ – Sunday Times
‘Deeply perceptive in interpretation' – Brian Sewell, ‘Books of the Year', Evening Standard
'[An] excellent book . . . both engaging and most enlightening.’ – Times Literary Supplement
‘Much of the best modern scholarship on the subject is incorporated into an argument which is well presented and enriched with many original and intelligent observations.’ – Burlington Magazine
Tom Nichols is Reader in History of Art at the University of Glasgow and author of books including The Art of Poverty (2007) and Renaissance Art (2010).