ABDUCTING THE BODY OF ST. MARK

 

TINTORETTO: 1566

 

Tintoretto was commissioned to paint this as part of a series of paintings on Saint Mark. The theme of Saint Mark was chosen as Saint Mark is the patron saint of Venice. Tintoretto completed all three paintings for the Scuola Grande di San Marco. The other two paintings are Miracle of the Slave in the Gallerie dell’Accademia and Finding of the Body of St Mark in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan

There were 6 Scuola Grande in Venice in the 1600’s. The walls of the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Marco were once adorned with pictures by Tintoretto and later additions by his son Domenico. During the Napoleonic period Tintoretto’s paintings were dispersed. The Scuola was converted into a hospital, and the former Chapter Hall now contains a library of medical history.

The link between Tintoretto and the Scuola Grande di San Marco started in 1547 when the Guardiano Grande (the Head of the school) commissioned him to paint a large painting to cover the institution’s walls. Tintoretto painted the Miracle of the Slave, which was extremely successful. He became very close to the Guardiano Grande’s daughter, Faustina Episcopi, and the couple got married in 1550.

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INFORMATION

There were 6 Scuola Grande in Venice in the 1600's. The walls of the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Marco were once adorned with pictures by Tintoretto and later additions by his son Domenico. During the Napoleonic period Tintoretto's paintings were dispersed. The Scuola was converted into a hospital, and the former Chapter Hall now contains a library of medical history.

The link between Tintoretto and the Scuola Grande di San Marco started in 1547 when the Guardiano Grande (the Head of the school) commissioned him to paint a large painting to cover the institution's walls. Tintoretto painted the Miracle of the Slave, which was extremely successful. He became very close to the Guardiano Grande's daughter, Faustina Episcopi, and the couple got married in 1550.

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INFORMATION

Tintoretto was commissioned to paint this as part of a series of paintings on Saint Mark. The theme of Saint Mark was chosen as Saint Mark is the patron saint of Venice. Tintoretto completed all three paintings for the Scuola Grande di San Marco. The other two paintings are Miracle of the Slave in the Gallerie dell’Accademia and Finding of the Body of St Mark in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan.

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1. ST MARK

Venices’s prestige increased with the acquisition, from Alexandria, of relics claimed to be of St Mark the Evangelist in 828. However, the saint died in 68 AD, nearly 800 years before the stealing of his body, so his remains would not have been in the state depicted by Tintoretto.

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4. PYRE

The body of St Mark was to be burned on a woodpile after being horribly tortured in 68 AD.

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8. MISSING PART OF PAINTING

There was a man fighitng another man over this piece of protective cloth that belonged to St Mark. I don't know what happened to it.

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3. TOMASSO RANGONE: COMMISSIONER OF PAINTING

By painting Tomasso into the painting, Tintoretto broke some of the acceptable traditions of commissioning paintings in 16th century.. It was acceptable only for senior officials to have themselves painted into a scene and then only from a distance from the venerated saint. It was not acceptable to have them painted front and centre and so close to a saint. As a result, the painting was sent back and asked to have his head painted over. Tintoretto never met this request.

Above is a painting attributed to Tintoretto of a Venetian Senator thought to be Rangone

Tomasso was the successor to the position held by Tintoretto's father in law (Guardiano Grande) and he continued the commission in 1562, paying for three new paintings in addition to the first one.

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2. SELF PORTRAIT TINTORETTO

Possibly a self portrait of the artist, during this time it was popular for artists to paint themselves into the painting.

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7. WHERE IS THIS?

The event took place in Alexandria but it looks more like Venice.

The main scene is moved over to the right and the centre of the painting. It looks like a classical Venetian square. The white strip down the center is like the one in St Marks.

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6. LOGGIA

Bystanders and persecutors flee from the storm towards the loggia which looks similar to Sansovino's in St Mark's square built between 1538-1546.

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5. STORM

The threatening sky refers to the hailstorm that came when the pagans wanted to burn him on a pyre during his martyrdom.