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Miracle of St. Mark by Tintoretto

Miracle of St. Mark by Tintoretto


Miracle of St. Mark by Tintoretto - History

1548
Oil on canvas, 415 x 541 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The painting is the first of a series of works, painted in 1548 for the Scuola Grande di San Marco while Marco Episcopi, his future father-in-law was Grand Guardian of the School.

The subject of the huge canvas is the miraculous appearence of St Mark to rescue one of his devotees, a servant of a knight of Provence, who had been condemned to having his legs broken and his eyes put out for worshipping the relics of the saint against his master's will. The scenes takes place on a kind of proscenium which seems to force the action out of the painting towards the spectator who is thus involved in the amazement of the crowd standing in a semi-circle around the protagonists: the fore-shortened figure of the slave lying on the ground, the dumbfounded executioner holding aloft the broken implements of torture, the knight of Provence starting up from his seat out of the shadow into the light, while the figure of St Mark swoops down from above.


Miracle of the Slave (Tintoretto)

The Miracle of the Slave (also known as The Miracle of St. Mark, 1548) is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Jacopo Tintoretto, and is now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice. It was originally commissioned for the Scuola Grande di San Marco, a confraternity in the city.

Miracle of the Slave
ArtistTintoretto
Year1548
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions416 cm × 544 cm (164 in × 214 in)
LocationGallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

It portrays an episode of the life of Saint Mark, patron saint of Venice, taken from Jacopo da Varazze's Golden Legend. The scene shows, in the upper part, the saint intervening to make invulnerable a slave about to be martyred for his veneration of another saint's relics. All the figures are inscribed into an architectonic scenario.

Different influences on Tintoretto's art can be seen in the picture: while the anatomies are Michelangelo-like, the vivid and intense colors are typical of the Venetian School.


The miracle of the Slave by Jacopo Tintoretto at the Gallerie dell'Accademia

2018 marks the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest painters of all time: Jacopo Robusti, known as Tintoretto.

On the occasion of this important celebration, the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice have put together a beautiful exhibition to delve into the beginning of the career of this brilliant artist that culminates with an incredible painting: 'The Miracle of the Slave', commissioned by the Scuola Grande di San Marco in 1548 to decorate their Chapter Hall.

It represents the story of a slave subjected to torture by his master because he was caught praying on the tomb of San Marco. The torture amounted to blinding him and fracturing his legs. The miraculous intervention of San Marco, patron of the city, broke the instruments used to torture him and spared the slave.

The action seems to take place on the stage of a theater: the crowd is contained on the left by columns and on the right by the high platform where the master sits above the crowd there is a pergola that connects the two buildings that border the space where the events are unfolding closing the scene there is a flat backdrop, almost like a theatrical setting, which represents the classical-style marble fence of a villa.

The spectators are arranged along two diagonal lines that meet at the center of the painting where, in a wedge in the foreground lies the foreshortened body of the slave. The crowd is diverse: men, soldiers, women, people of colour the Orientals with the turban represent the Turks, traditional enemies of the Venetians, symbol of the unfaithful barbarians.

San Marco, invisible to those present, comes down from above. The angle from which the saint's body is seen is the same as the slave’s but at its opposite.

Book online your ticket for the Gallerie dell'Accademia and discover its most famous artworks, including 'The Miracle of the Slave' by Tintoretto!


Finding of the body of St Mark

The Finding of the body of St Mark or Rediscovery of the body of Saint Mark is a painting by Tintoretto. Dated to between 1562 and 1566, it is part of a cycle of paintings of Saint Mark, the patron saint of Venice. It is now held in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan.

The painting was commissioned by Tommaso Rangone, the “grand guardian” of the Scuola Grande di San Marco in Venice from Tintoretto as part of series of large canvases depicting the acquisition by Venice of the body of Saint Mark.

The painting shows Venetians busy removing corpses from tombs along the right wall and from a crypt in the background. In the left foreground, the standing luminous saint himself with a faint halo appears and beseeches them to stop, because his body has been found and lies pale at his feet, strewn on an oriental rug. In the center of the canvas, an elder (portrait of Rangone) kneels acknowledging the miracle. Elsewhere in the room, the figures are either astonished or oblivious to the apparition.

In places, the work appears unfinished: the tiles of floor and cornices is visible through some clothing and figures. The foreshortening is accentuated by the tiles, and the wall tombs, and finally by rays of light seeming to emerge from the crypt in the background. In the foreground at the right, a contorted half-naked man is described as "possessed by demons", above him hover strands of smoke. Other quizzical markings occur on the ceilings.

Like its companion piece, St Mark's Body Brought to Venice, the composition exemplifies Tintoretto's preference for dramatic effects of perspective and light. According to the art historian Thomas Nichols, "the linear logic of the emptied, boxlike perspective vistas is undermined by an irrational play of light and shade. Both paintings suggest the simultaneous existence of different levels of reality through the use of a range of pictorial techniques."

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here →


The Miracle of St Mark Freeing the Slave

The painting is the first of a series of works that Tintoretto painted in 1548 for the Scuola Grande di San Marco while Marco Episcopi, artist's future father-in-law, was Grand Guardian of the School.

The subject of the huge canvas is the miraculous appearance of St Mark to rescue one of his devotees, a servant of a knight of Provence, who had been condemned to having his legs broken and his eyes put out for worshipping the relics of St Mark against his master's will. The scene takes place on a kind of proscenium which seems to force the action out of the painting towards the spectator who is thus involved in the amazement of the crowd standing in a semi-circle around the protagonists: the fore-shortened figure of the slave lying on the ground, the dumbfounded executioner holding aloft the broken implements of torture, the knight of Provence starting up from his seat out of the shadow into the light. In contrast, the figure of St Mark swoops down from above.

The overall composition of The Miracle of the Slave, although set within an opulent Roman courtyard, is intense with action. Three times the executioner attempted to levy the punishment, and each time the tools have broken before the slave could be harmed. This is the work of Saint Mark, who, in dramatic fashion, descends from heaven in a red robe and billowing orange cape to rescue the slave and spare him the suffering associated with this painful death. This miracle also converts the slave's master at embracing the Christian faith.

The great influence that Michelangelo had on Tintoretto's artistic style is visible in this work the robust, muscular figures staged in a variety of complex positions are reminiscent of the Renaissance master. Scholars doubt whether Tintoretto made studies from the sculptural maquettes or other works based on the originals by Michelangelo.

Despite some of the initial criticism Tintoretto received for the speed at which he worked, made evident from the loose and gestural brushwork, this painting had a profound impact on Tintoretto's career. A commission for the Confraternity of Scuola Grande di San Marco brought the artist wide attention, after which he began receiving many commissions. According to Tintoretto's biographers, some members of the confraternity argued against accepting it, enraging the artist, who took it back to his studio. But eventually, the naysayers were discomfited, Tintoretto and his proponents won the day, and the painting was installed to great acclaim. The acceptance of this work was an essential step towards broadening the stylistic range of the Venetian School. In addition to the more traditional approaches of Titian, here, Tintoretto provided a highly dramatic presentation of a religious subject, which helped to lay the foundation for the future development of Baroque art.

The Miracle of the Slave (also known as The Miracle of St. Mark, 1548) is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Jacopo Tintoretto. Currently housed in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, northern Italy, it was originally commissioned for the Scuola Grande di San Marco, a confraternity in the city.

It portrays an episode of the life of Saint Mark, patron saint of Venice, taken from Jacopo da Varazze's Golden Legend. The scene shows, in the upper part, the saint intervening to make invulnerable a slave about to be martyred for his veneration of another saint's relics. All the figures are inscribed into an architectonic scenario.

Different influences on Tintoretto's art can be seen in the picture: while the anatomies are Michelangelo-like, the vivid and intense colors are typical of the Venetian School.

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here →


Miracle of St. Mark by Tintoretto - History

1548
Oil on canvas, 415 x 541 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The painting is the first of a series of works, painted in 1548 for the Scuola Grande di San Marco while Marco Episcopi, his future father-in-law was Grand Guardian of the School.

The subject of the huge canvas is the miraculous appearence of St Mark to rescue one of his devotees, a servant of a knight of Provence, who had been condemned to having his legs broken and his eyes put out for worshipping the relics of the saint against his master's will. The scenes takes place on a kind of proscenium which seems to force the action out of the painting towards the spectator who is thus involved in the amazement of the crowd standing in a semi-circle around the protagonists: the fore-shortened figure of the slave lying on the ground, the dumbfounded executioner holding aloft the broken implements of torture, the knight of Provence starting up from his seat out of the shadow into the light, while the figure of St Mark swoops down from above.


Miracle of St. Mark by Tintoretto - History

1562-66
Oil on canvas, 396 x 400 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

This painting was executed for the hall of the Scuola Grande di San Marco with three other canvases (now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice).

A masterpiece of Tintoretto's full maturity, this painting is a profound expression of his originality. It creates a lyric spectacle out of extreme disquietude. In fact, it expresses a visionary notion that borders on the hallucination, and in this way the scene of the stealing of the body becomes a meteoric display. A memorable image is created that has the impact of a clap of thunder at a witches' ritual.

It has recently been shown that this picture does not, as was long assumed, show the rediscovery of the body of St Mark on June 25, 1094, but various miracles of healing worked by the patron saint of Venice: he is depicted raising a man from the dead, restoring a blind man's sight, and casting out devils. As in The Miracle of the Slave, which he painted for the same location, Tintoretto illustrates the power of St Mark by placing the invisible guidelines of his construction of the perspective in the saint's outstretched hand. The donor Tommaso Rangone, who claimed great healing powers for himself, thereby making large sums of money, had his own figure painted kneeling humbly, but none the less wearing the magnificent golden robe of a cavalier aurato. Doge Girolamo Priuli had only recently bestowed the title of "Golden Knight" on him.


Arth 340: Discussion

Towards 1546 Tintoretto painted for the church of the Madonna dell'Orto three of his leading works - the Worship of the Golden Calf, the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, and the Last Judgment now shamefully repainted. He took the commission for two of the paintings, the Worship of the Golden Calf and the Last Judgment, on a cost only basis in order to make himself better known. [ 2 ] He settled down in a house hard by the church. It is a Gothic edifice, looking over the Fondamenta de Mori, which is still standing. In 1548 he was commissioned for four pictures in the Scuola di S. Marco: the Finding of the body of St Mark in Alexandria (now in the church of the Angeli, Murano), the Saint's Body brought to Venice, a Votary of the Saint delivered by invoking him from an Unclean Spirit (these two are in the library of the royal palace, Venice), and the Miracle of the Slave. The latter, which forms at present one of the chief glories of the Venetian Academy, represents the legend of a Christian slave or captive who was to be tortured as a punishment for some acts of devotion to the evangelist, but was saved by the miraculous intervention of the latter, who shattered the bone-breaking and blinding implements which were about to be applied.

These four works were greeted with signal and general applause, including that of Titian's intimate, the too potent Pietro Aretino, with whom Tintoretto, one of the few men who scorned to curry favor with him, was mostly in disrepute. It is said, however, that Tintoretto at one time painted a ceiling in Pietro's house at another time, being invited to do his portrait, he attended, and at once proceeded to take his sitter's measure with a pistol (or a stiletto), as a significant hint that he was not exactly the man to be trifled with. The painter having now executed the four works in the Scuola di S. Marco, his straits and obscure endurances were over.

In 1550, Tintoretto married Faustina de Vescovi (or Episcopi ?), daughter of a Venetian nobleman who was the guardian grande of the Scuola Grande di San Marco. She appears to have been a careful housewife, and one who both would and could have her way with her not too tractable husband. Faustina bore him several children, probably two sons and five daughters. The mother of Jacopo's daughter Marietta, a portrait painter herself, was probably a German woman, who had an affair with Jacopo before his marriage to Faustina.

The next conspicuous event in the professional life of Tintoretto is his enormous labor and profuse self-development on the walls and ceilings of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. The building had been begun in 1525, and was very deficient in light, so as to be particularly ill-suited for any great scheme of pictorial adornment. The painting of its interior was commenced in 1560.

In that year five principal painters, including Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese, were invited to send in trial-designs for the centre-piece in the smaller hall named Sala dell'Albergo, the subject being S. Rocco received into Heaven. Tintoretto produced not a sketch but a picture, and got it inserted into its oval. The competitors remonstrated, not unnaturally but the artist, who knew how to play his own game, made a free gift of the picture to the saint, and, as a bylaw of the foundation prohibited the rejection of any gift, it was retained in situ, Tintoretto furnishing gratis the other decorations of the same ceiling.

In 1565 he resumed work at the scuola, painting the magnificent Crucifixion, for which a sum of 250 ducats was paid. In 1576 he presented gratis another centre-piece—that for the ceiling of the great hall, representing the Plague of Serpents and in the following year he completed this ceiling with pictures of the Paschal Feast and Moses striking the Rock accepting whatever pittance the confraternity chose to pay.

Tintoretto next launched out into the painting of the entire scuola and of the adjacent church of San Rocco. He offered in November 1577 to execute the works at the rate of 100 ducats per annum, three pictures being due in each year. This proposal was accepted and was punctually fulfilled, the painter's death alone preventing the execution of some of the ceiling-subjects. The whole sum paid for the scuola throughout was 2447 ducats. Disregarding some minor performances, the scuola and church contain fifty-two memorable paintings, which may be described as vast suggestive sketches, with the mastery, but not the deliberate precision, of finished pictures, and adapted for being looked at in a dusky half-light. Adam and Eve, the Visitation, the Adoration of the Magi, the Massacre of the Innocents, the Agony in the Garden, Christ before Pilate, Christ carrying His Cross, and (this alone having been marred by restoration) the Assumption of the Virgin are leading examples in the scuola in the church, Christ curing the Paralytic.

It was probably in 1560, the year in which he began working in the Scuola di S. Rocco, that Tintoretto commenced his numerous paintings in the ducal palace he then executed there a portrait of the doge, Girolamo Priuli. Other works which were destroyed in the great fire of 1577 succeeded—the Excommunication of Frederick Barbarossa by Pope Alexander III and the Victory of Lepanto.


Art History News

Venice is celebrating one of her most famous sons, the great painter Jacopo Tintoretto, born 500 years ago, with a series of outstanding exhibitions: at the Doges’ Palace, at the Academia Galleries, at Scuola Grande San Rocco and at Scuola Grande San Marco-September 6th 2018 until January 6th, 2019.


Scuola Grande San Marco used to be the seat of a powerful benevolent lay organization, that during the centuries accumulated a striking art collection. Today this magnificent early Renaissance building, a 10 minutes’ walk from St Mark’s Square, is the seat of Venice’s major hospital, and you shouldn’t miss it!

The elegant façade, one of our preferred in Venice, was recently restored by Save Venice, an American organization active in Venice since 1971. Save Venice is also restoring a bulk of canvases by Jacopo and Domenico Tintoretto, father and son, including some works belonging to Scuola Grande San Marco itself.

ART, FAITH & MEDICINE IN TINTORETTO’S VENICE focuses on the functions of the Scuola Grande (active from the 14 th century until Napoleon’s suppression), whose members, rich and poor, played an active role in the social, religious, medical and artistic life of Venice. It also exploits the unique collection of medical texts (8,000 books)possessed by the Hospital itself.

Jacopo and Domenico Tintoretto worked for the sodality, sponsored by some of its wealthiest and most outstanding members. Three masterpieces by Jacopo Tintoretto, illustrating the miracles of St Mark, were ordered and paid by Tommaso Rangone, doctor and astrologist, at the head of the Scuola since 1562.

The story St Mark’s ring, a precious relic acquired by the fraternity in 1509 and lost – it was stolen! – in 1575, epitomizes the popular belief in the healing power of relics, and witnesses the persistence of superstition and religious faith in a city were medical and scientific knowledge was developing fast.
We must remember that Padua University was absorbed by Venice in 1405.The Paduan Studium, founded in 1222, became, under the Venetian institutions, the most important medical school of the 16 th century. The anatomical works of Acquapendente, Vesalio, Fallopio, changed the history of medicine forever.

Venice itself had no university until the 2nd half of the 19 th century, gave however an enormous contribution to the medical and scientific world thanks to its intense printing activity, that had an early start thanks to the many German printers in town, and to the vitality of its cosmopolitan business activities.

Painters, engravers, editors contributed to the illustration of the medical texts. The importance of acquiring the greatest accuracy in the representation of the human body, with all its layers of anatomical details, implies a common effort in the artists’ and artisans’ workshops to obtain the best possible results.

Besides the human anatomy, drawers and engravers were asked to represent in detail the surgical instruments, the first protesis, and all what might interest medical and surgical practice.

Another reason why Venice was so involved in the medical studies was the struggle against plague epidemics. If on one hand the city rulers were very pragmatic, inventing quarantine and lazaret, on the other the cult of saints and the invocation of divine help was also considered fundamental,

Both Jacopo and Domenico Tintoretto were involved in the ‘spiritual’ fight against the terrible disease, that was typically considered a divine punishment. The exhibit displays an enormous processional canvas by Domenico Tintoretto, newly restored by Save Venice for the occasion, used during the 1630-1631 plague.

The display is articulated in seven sections: relating the history of the Scuola Grande San Marco and its spiritual/medical tasks reconstructing the original display of the artworks before Napoleon’s suppression framing the over-ambitious figure of Doctor Tommaso Rangone dealing with the 1630/31 plague and Domenico Tintoretto’s processional painting centering on the imporance of the anatomical studies in art and science of those days presenting a video about the vicissitudes of St Mark’s miracle-working ring show-casing some surprising surgical novelties of the time.

Title: Art, faith and medicine in TINTORETTO's Venice
Author: Matino, G. C. Klesinec
Price: $37.50
ISBN: 9788831729475


Description: Venezia: Marsilio, 2018. 28cm., pbk., 144pp. illus. Exhibition held at Palazzo Ducale, Venezia

Summary: The exhibition explores the representation of the human body in artistic and medical traditions and defines their role in renaissance culture. The Scuola Grande di San Marco offers the perfect scenario for the presentation of the relationship between art and medicine, anatomical studies and religious beliefs, drawing archive documents, illuminated manuscripts, rare books, prints, medals, drawings and paintings. The catalogue examines topics such as medical care for the poor brothers of the School as a means of spiritual purification and the figure of Tommaso Rangone as doctor and patron of Tintoretto.

Contents: Investment in Charity - The Welfare Activities of the Scuola Grande di San Marco in the Sixteenth Century, Paola Benussi Tommaso Giannotti Rangone, A Life Modeled on Books and (not just medical) Art, Sabrina Minuzzi 'When God's Majesty Publicly Scourges a People' - Combating Plague in Sixteenth-Century Venice, Michelle Laughran Domenico Tintoretto and the 1630-31 Plague, Jennifer Gear Animating the Body - The Roles and Reasons for Anatomical Study in the Renaissance, Cynthia Klestinec Domenico Tintoretto's Life-Drawing - Anatomy of an Artistic Reform, Gabriele Matino Learned Hands - Skills, Experience, and Knowledge in Sixteenth-Century Surgery, Paola Savoia Bookish Anatomies, The Medical Manual in the First Century of Printing, Ilaria Andreoli.

List of site sources >>>


Watch the video: Тинторетто, Чудо святого Марка (January 2022).