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Madrid's Prado Museum unveils largest Tintoretto show in 70 years

Madrid's Prado Museum unveils largest Tintoretto show in 70 years

The Prado Museum is unveiling the largest exhibition of 16th-century Italian painter Tintoretto in 70 years _ one of the most significant shows of his work held outside his native Venice.
Jacopo Tintoretto has only had one other solo show: at the Ca' Pesaro gallery in Venice, in 1937.
"Most people would say that Venice is the only place to see Tintoretto," Gabriele Finaldi, the Prado's deputy director for conservation and research, said Friday.
But the Prado show, which opens on Tuesday, affords his works perspectives that would be impossible in their original setting, he said.
"Most of his masterpieces are of an unusually large size and remain still in the buildings for which they were painted," said exhibit curator Miguel Falomir.
The point is powerfully made in a darkened chamber that displays the painter's brushstroke techniques using full-size X-ray images and allows a comparison of "Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet" with and without human figures.
"Take a few steps into the main hall and suddenly you are confronted with that painting next to the 'The Last Supper' from Venice's Curia Patriarcale church, just as they would have been hung originally before kings started buying works and splitting them up," Finaldi said.
The exhibit highlights Tintoretto's bawdy sense of humor, especially in "Venus and Mars Surprised by Vulcan" where you can see Mars hiding under a table as cuckolded Vulcan bursts into his wife's bedroom.
The recently restored "Susanna and the Elders," belonging to Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum highlights Tintoretto's inventive use of perspective and delicate rendering of skin tones.
"You can also see the point from which he drew his perspective lines to give the painting its depth and even see smoke rising from an incense burner which was once thought to be a scent bottle," said Robert Wald, who was responsible for restoring the masterpiece.
Wald said some elements had forever been changed by the passage of time.
"We know from research that the trees and shrubs would have been a much brighter green, but in restoring the work we chose to retain its patina," he said.
It took time to coax apprehensive caretakers into lending Tintoretto's paintings.
To ease the anxiety of some owners, the Prado promised to help pay for maintenance at the paintings' original sites.
The pastor of San Marcuola church, where Tintorettos cover two walls, said he decided to loan the "Last Supper" because the Prado pitched in financially toward the church's upkeep.
"Damp has affected some of these paintings in the past. We don't want that to happen again," Finaldi said.
Tintoretto is among the world's most admired and studied painters. But Falomir said he learned a few new things about the painting in curating the exhibit.
"We found out his real name was Jacopo Comin _ alias Robusti, alias Tintoretto," he said.
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On the Net:
http://www.museoprado.es


Updated : 2021-07-26 02:39 GMT+08:00