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

The Supper at Emmaus

Oil on canvas, 156 x 212 cm
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

Tintoretto began his career as one of Titian's pupils and was later much influenced by Parmigianino and Michelangelo, but his own art, dramatic and animated, passionate and visionary, kept a highly individual note that was in many respects totally original.

The Supper at Emmaus is considered by experts to have been painted in about 1540, when he was a young man. Unlike his paintings of the Last Supper - a frequent subject of his later years - this painting is a more balanced composition in the Renaissance style, with the figures arranged parallel to the picture plane. The figures are relatively large and statuesque, and there is not such effective use of contrasting light and shade or spatial arrangement as in the more mature works. It is primarily by means of gestures and vigorous poses that the painter conveys the dramatic and tense atmosphere inherent in the scene.