by Peyton Joyce


Jacopo Robusti, better known as Tintoretto, was born in 1518 in Venice, Italy (no specific date) and died May 31, 1594 in the same place.

He was born and raised in Venice, and there he lived his entire life with his wife, daughter, and two sons. Domenico, one of his sons, eventually took over his workshop and became a painter, but they were more uninspired than Tintoretto's paintings.

Tintoretto seems to have studied with Bonidazio Veronese or Paris Bordone, but his real inspirations were Titian and Michelangelo, especially Titian. Instead of simply reflecting his work, he took the ideas and built on them, adding a component of restlessness instead of Titian's more elegant style. Michelangelo inspired him to portray more daring and expansive poses.

Although his paintings were considered daring, he lived a quiet life. His main concerns were only his work and his family.

Tintoretto was primarily a figure painter that created deeply-moving Christian/secular historical paintings and dignified portraits of Venetian aristocracy. His first work was Apollo and Marsyas (1545), and because of the speed and finesse he completed it with, Tintoretto became well-known in Venice's artist community. Later he painted St. Mark Rescuing a Slave, The Last Judgement (1560), and his most notable achievement being almost all of the walls and ceiling of the Scuola di S. Rocco in Venice, Italy. One of his most famous paintings is Crucifixion (1565).

Even though Tintoretto was never officially patronized, he was hired occasionally to do a painting or two.

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HIS WORK: Crucifixion (1565)

The name of the piece is Crucifixion (1565). One may see this piece in Scuola di San Rocco, a building in Venice, Italy. It was significant not only because it was Tintoretto's most famous piece, it showed his art style: drastic and chaotic, but if you focus there is an element of peace.

His technique of painting quickly with a naturalistic style was new, and it is present in all of his work. I find this peace interesting for particularly that reason. In the minds of the people on the ground are chaos, hatred, and war. But your eyes quickly go to Jesus Christ on the cross, who seems to have a sense of peace in that his suffering would be over, and that he knew he was sacrificing himself for the people, according to the Bible.

This painting certainly displays naturalism. You can see the wrinkles in the clothing, and everyone is in a panic. The painting wasn't posed for, it was simply a snapshot in time.


  • He lived to be 76.
  • His first client, Pietro Aretino, described him as "a genius of note".
  • The quote "The drawing of Michelangelo and the color of Titian" is said to have been on the wall in his studio.
  • Tintoretto means "little dyer" and came from his father who was a silk dyer.
  • Some of the works of his son (Domenico) are mistaken to be Tintoretto's.


Jacopo Tintoretto. Crucifixion (1565). Scuola di San Rocco (Venice, Italy). ARTstor.

"Tintoretto." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.