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

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary

Oil on canvas, 200 x 132 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Jacopo Robusti took his nickname, Tintoretto, from his father's profession of dyer (tintore). Notably devout, he was much in demand as a painter of altarpieces and reli- gious narratives for the churches and confraternities of his native Venice, and also executed many portraits. He modified his style and technique according to the commission. He sometimes deliberately imitated the style of other painters, but his ideal was said to be 'the drawing of Michelangelo and the colouring of Titian'. What is uniquely his own is his sense of drama, often verging on melodrama, expressed through violent movement and vertiginous shifts in scale, as figures plunge towards us or recede abruptly into the distance, and by lurid tonal or colour contrasts.