(b. 1518, Venezia, d. 1594, Venezia)

Portrait of Jacopo Sansovino

before 1546
Oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Unless an artist provided state portraits, for instance of the Doges, which were usually paid for at the rate of 25 ducats each, there was not much money to be earned by portrait painting. Men of letters who were Tintoretto's friends and whose portraits he painted usually recompensed him only with a public letter or a verse eulogy. However, Tintoretto accepted many commissions for private portraits, particularly in his youth, since they brought him into contact with people of importance, and enabled him to extend his social network. The early portrait of the Venetian "protomaestro" or municipal architect Jacopo Sansovino was probably done without charge, as a kind of advertisement for himself.