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

Lamentation over the Dead Christ

c. 1560
Oil on canvas, 227 x 294 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The painting comes from the now demolished church of Santa Maria dell'Umiltá. A dramatic interplay of beams of light and heavy shadows lends atmosphere to this lamentation, under the merest hint of a cross and ladder.

The subject was treated by Tintoretto several times before 1559, this version can be considered as a summary of his previous experiments. There are no unnecessary details only a closed group of figures with dominating diagonal lines. Everything is subordinated to the expression of extreme emotions.

The painting is clearly demonstrating how Tintoretto broke with the traditional representations of frequently painted subjects.