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

Venus, Mars, and Vulcan

c. 1551
Black chalk, pen drawing in brown, color-washed and heightened in white on blue paper, 202 x 272 mm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

This is a design for the painting Venus, Mars, and Vulcan, now win the Alte Pinakothek, Munich.

Tintoretto generally develops even complex spatial constructions from simple measurements and proportions. Here, for instance, the vertical central axis containing both the front corner of the bed and the head of the male figure are important. Tintoretto used perspective in a very loose, freehand way: the vanishing point placed at first, obviously, in the upper right corner of the picture was moved further to the right in the drawing of the furniture, and the curiously distorted tiles give the floor a downward slope which seems very appropriate given the sense of threat inherent in the scene.