Self-portrait of Jacopo Tintoretto, 1544-55

The son of a cloth-dyer (hence the nickname “Tintoretto” or “little dyer”), Jacopo Robusti had a reputation as a wily self-promoter, but was also known as a man of deep faith who saved some of his best work for those who could not afford to pay for it.

Saint George and the Dragon, c. 1553/1555

In Tintoretto's imaginative telling of the story of St. George killing the dragon, the focal point of the paintings is the fleeing princess.

The Last Supper, c. 1563/1564

The apostles seated at the table of his “The Last Supper” appear to be startlingly in motion, as they lean in, gesticulate, and reach for more wine.

Saint Martial in Glory with Saint Peter and Saint Paul, 1549

Tintoretto painted the altarpiece for his own parish church, San Marziale.


The Deposition of Christ, c. 1562

A mourning Virgin Mary is seen collapsed in agony, in the same attitude as her Son who has just been taken down from the Cross. Both of their faces  bear a deathly pallor that contrasts with those around them and conveys her pain and sorrow in an immediate and visceral way.

Paradiso, c. 1583

Tintoretto's "Paradiso" measures 23 feet high and 72 feet wide, and is "the largest old master oil painting in the world."

Tintoretto provided paintings for humble churches as well as wealthy patrons.

"The Virgin Mary Reading," c. 1582-1583 comes to Washington, DC, from the Scuola Grande Arcioconfraternita di San Rocco in Venice. Next to it is pictured Tintoretto's "Baptism of Christ," c. 1580, from the Church of San Silvestro in Venice.