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

Susanna and the Elders (detail)

c. 1555
Oil on canvas
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Tintoretto's pictures often contain still-lifes painted with virtuoso skill. The items he depicted include instruments of torture, weapons, cooking utensils, and are to be understood as annotations, or commentaries on the main subject of the work. The precious objects sparkling in the dark grass here (ajar of ointment, a mirror, comb, hairpin, pearl necklace, and ring) show that Susanna is a pampered lady used to luxury, lavishing special care and expense on the care and adornment other body - perhaps for professional reasons.

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