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

The Crucifixion (detail)

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.