(b. 1518, Venezia, d. 1594, Venezia)
Deucalion and Pyrrha Praying before the Statue of the Goddess Themisc. 1542
Oil on panel, 127 x 124 cm
Galleria Estense, Modena
In his Metamorphoses Ovid describes the devout couple Deucalion and Pyrrha praying to Themis, goddess of justice, after they have been saved from the deluge sent by Jupiter. With its pronounced foreshortenings seen from below, its compelling sculptural quality, and its powerful dynamics, the cycle of 16 ceiling paintings from which this panel comes showed an advance in the quality of Tintoretto's work, and indeed of Venetian ceiling painting in general.