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

The Crucifixion (detail)

1565
Oil on canvas
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice

Tintoretto sketched the two oriental figures engaged in discussion on the canvas in only a few minutes. Their anatomy and gestures, their garments and the folds of the drapery, are all abbreviated forms. This pictorial shorthand, based on decades of practice, was exaggerated into a mannerism by some less expert assistants and imitators of Tintoretto, who populated the backgrounds of their pictures with entire ghostly choruses.