Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings at The Met Fifth Avenue, October 16, 2018 – January 27, 2019

“Jacopo Tintoretto (1518/19–1594) was one of the preeminent Venetian painters of the 16th century and was renowned for his dynamic narrative scenes and insightful portraits. In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s birth, The Met presents Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings. This focused exhibition unites 21 works from European and American museums and private collections, bringing them into a larger discussion of the artist’s approach to portraiture and painting, as well as the role of drawings in his workshop. 

Characterized by their immediacy, penetrating observation, and startling modernity, Tintoretto’s small-scale, informal portrait heads are an innovative aspect of his portraiture, and one that has been little studied. Seen together for the first time, these portrait studies will reveal Tintoretto’s famous quickness (prestezza) as a painter, capturing both the spirit and appearance of the sitter.

Facets of artistic practice in the Tintoretto workshop will come to light in the exhibition’s exploration of the relationship between Jacopo and his son Domenico. Central here are a series of bold figural drawings and a painting in the Museum’s collection, The Finding of Moses, whose long-debated attribution to both father and son will play a key role in the discussion of this flourishing workshop.” — The Met

Jacopo Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti) (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice). Portrait of an Elderly Man, ca. 1550. Oil on panel. San Diego Museum of Art, Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam

Jacopo Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice). Portrait of a Man, 1550s. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of George Blumenthal, 1941

Jacopo Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice). Portrait of a Man (Self Portrait?), 1550s. Oil on canvas. Private collection

Jacopo Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice). Head of a Man (Portrait Study). Probably 1550s. Oil on canvas laid on panel Royal Collection / HM Queen Elizabeth II

Jacopo Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice). Head of an Old Man, 1555–65. Oil on canvas. Private collection, Milan

Jacopo Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice). Portrait of a Bearded Man, Bust-length, in a Red Gown, ca. 1570 (?). Oil on canvas The Alana Collection, Newark, Delaware

Jacopo Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice). Portrait of an Elderly Bearded Man, ca. 1570. Oil on canvas. Private collection

Jacopo Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice). Portrait of Jacopo Sansovino, ca. 1570. Oil on canvas. Klassik Stiftung Weimar

Domenico Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1560–1635 Venice). The Mocking of Christ, 1560–1635. Black chalk, brush and brown ink, gray and white oil paint, on blue paper; squared in black chalk. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harry G. Sperling Fund, 1994

Domenico Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1560–1635 Venice). Reclining Female Nude Figure, 1560–1635. Black chalk, highlighted with white, on blue paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Robert Lehman, 1941

Domenico Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1560–1635 Venice). Reclining Female Nude, Early 17th century. Black and white chalk on faded blue paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975

Domenico Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1560–1635 Venice). Reclining Female Nude, Early 17th century. Black and white chalk on blue paper.The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975

Domenico Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1560–1635 Venice). Reclining Female Nude, Early 17th century. Black and white chalk on blue paper The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975

Jacopo Tintoretto (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice). Reclining Male Figure, 1560s. Black chalk on blue paper; squared in black chalk. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975

 “Tintoretto created intensely powerful portraits, and the opportunity to look at these brilliant studies alongside one another allows us to recognize and appreciate the urgency and tremendous skill in these paintings,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings is organized by Andrea Bayer, The Met’s interim Deputy Director for Collections and Administration and Jayne Wrightsman Curator in the Department of European Paintings, and Alison Manges Nogueira, Associate Curator in the Robert Lehman Collection. 

Images courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.