Venetian School. Jacopo Robusti, called Tintoretto, and nicknamed ” Il Furioso ” from the speed and energy with which he painted.
LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY
THE ORIGIN OF THE MILKY WAY Jupiter, descending from the right, places the infant Hercules at Juno’s breast beneath her upraised left arm. She is half reclining on white and red draperies, leaning over to the left, her right leg hanging down, her right arm supporting her. The milk flowing from her breasts forms ” the Milky Way.” At the foot of her couch on the right are her peacocks, and a cupid descending headlong above them. Behind her on the left a gold canopy; in the middle distance Jove’s eagle bearing his thunderbolts. Background of blue sky with clouds. Purchased from the Earl of Darnley in 1890.
THE NINE MUSES Whole-length nude figures, life size, grouped in various attitudes. In the centre is one of the nine seated facing us, her head turned to left as she listens to another seated behind her, while her hands are extended to right playing upon a spinet, round which are grouped three others. The most conspicuous of these is the one nearest to us on the right, who stands with her back to us tuning a lute which rests on her bent left knee. On the left is another seated, looking down at a pandean pipe which she holds. Above her flies another playing a large lute. In the centre foreground is Urania recumbent, studying a paper covered with mathematical figures. Background of sky, with the sun in splendour in the centre.
“This picture, the most magnificent and important example of Tintoretto in England, was acquired by Charles I. with the Mantuan Collection. It is universally considered one of his masterpieces.” (Catalogue.)
THE MIRACLE OF ST. MARK Between a building on the left and a high stone seat on the right is a motley crowd of Turks and others gathered round the martyr, who lies naked ontheground with his head towards us; while immediately overhead, diffusing a marvellous light on all the figures beneath, is the apparition of St. Mark in flowing robes descending from heaven with outstretched arms to work the miracle. The central figure just below St. Mark is that of the executioner in turban and loose clothes, who stands with his back to us holding up his broken hammer to the judge, who leans forward with arms outspread from the seat on the right. On the left another executioner kneels at the captive’s head with an arrow poised over it.
Painted in 1548.