Saturday, April 21, 2018

Tintoretto at Musée du Luxembourg

When John and I heard there was a Tintoretto exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg we made our way over there tout de suite. We have long been aware of Tintoretto but only really discovered him for ourselves last September in Venice. So we now have a special fondness.
When we came up out of the Metro, we passed the Luxembourg Palace,
we entered the gorgeous park with its sculpted rows of trees.
Horse chestnut candles are one of my favourite flowers so I was thrilled to be surrounded by them in the spring air.
The entrance poster to the Tintoretto, Birth of a Genius exhibition features Tintoretto's intense Self-portrait of 1547. 
Tintorreto was a child prodigy and an independent master in his own studio before he was twenty years old.  He began Labyrinth of Love (Allegory of Human Life) in 1538 when he was 20 and finished it 14 years later.
Here is a detail from the centre of the canvas.

I couldn't photograph the whole painting of Cain and Abel, circa 1538-1539 -- the crowd of visitors around it was too great -- but I did get this frightening detail for you.
Tintoretto has an amazing sense of drama. Jesus amongst the Scholars, circa 1539
Jesus amongst the Scholars, detail.
Diana and Callisto, circa 1542, detail.
Tintorreto shared his studio with another painter Giovanni Galizzi and their early work was so similar that scholars are often confused as who painted what. This little gouache seems to be a Galizzi, 1551. 
The gregarious Tintorreto had friends who were theatrical set designers and he competed with them by creating spectacular architectural settings for his paintings. The Wise and the Foolish Virgins, c. 1555. 
John and I love this unfinished work -- The Sacred Family with the young Saint John the Baptist, circa 1550. It shows off his painting technique beautifully and also has a modern look. 
The Princess, Saint George and Saint Louis, 1551. Scholars think Tintoretto was inspired for Saint George's pose by a recently discovered Greek bronze of a youth raising his arms in prayer.
A closer look at the Princess.
Venetian private collectors were captivated by Tintoretto's nudes of the 1550s. Susanna and the Elders, circa 1554-1555, brings us drama again with the unwelcome touch on Susanna's breast and the looming standing figure bending in for his own closer look. This one is so creepy!
The Original Sin, circa 1551-1552. Hard to see, but on the right, about halfway up the canvas we see the next scene -- a fleeing Adam and Eve pursued by an angel.
 Here's a closer look at that detail.
John found some lovely details  in The Death of Adonis, circa 1552-1553.
The master's dog,
the swooning goddess,
 and Adonis himself. Exhibition runs until July 1st.

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