Tintoretto - Jacopo Robusti (real name Jacopo Comin) was one of the greatest painters of the Venetian school and probably the last great painter of the Italian Renaissance. In his youth he was also called Jacopo Robusti, as his father had defended the gates of Padua in a rather robust way against the imperial troops. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso, and his dramatic use of perspective space and special lighting effects make him a precursor of baroque art.
He was born in Venice in 1518, as the eldest of 21 children. His father, Giovanni, was a dyer, or tintore; hence the son got the nickname of Tintoretto, little dyer, or dyer's boy. Little is known about his life.
In childhood Jacopo, began daubing on the dyer's walls; his father, noticing his bent, took him to the studio of Titian to see how far he could be trained as an artist. He is said to have trained very briefly with Titian, but the style of his immature works suggests that he may also have studied with Schiavone, Paris Bordone, or Bonifazio. He spent all his life in Venice and. He appears to have been unpopular because he was unscrupulous in procuring commissions and ready to undercut his competitors.
He studied from models of Michelangelo's Dawn, Noon, Twilight and Night, and became expert in modeling in wax and clay method which afterwards stood him in good stead in working out the arrangement of his pictures. By 1539 he was painting pictures composed in a traditional Venetian manner with the figures arranged parallel to the picture plane and unlinked by any strong movement or variation in the arrangement. He was a formidable draughtsman and, he had inscribed on his studio wall the motto `The drawing of Michelangelo and the color of Titian'. However, he was very different in spirit from either of his avowed models -- more emotive, using vivid exaggerations of light and movement. His drawings, unlike Michelangelo's detailed life studies, are brilliant, rapid notations, bristling with energy, and his color is more sombre and mystical than Titian's.
For the Scuola della Trinity he painted four subjects from Genesis. Two of these, are "Adam and Eve" and the "Death of Abel", both noble works of high mastery, which leave us in no doubt that Tintoretto was by this time a consummate painter - one of the few who have attained to the highest eminence in the absence of any formal training.
Towards 1546 Tintoretto painted for the church of the Madonna dell'Orto three of his leading works: "Worship of the Golden Calf", the "Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple", and the "Last Judgment".
In 1548 he was commissioned for four pictures in the Scuola di S. Marco: the "Finding of the body of St Mark in Alexandria", the "Saint's Body brought to Venice, a Votary of the Saint delivered by invoking him from an Unclean Spirit", and the highly and justly celebrated "Miracle of the Slave". The last presents one of the chief glories of the Venetian Academy.
Tintoretto enormous labor and profuse self-development in the Scuola di S. Rocco may almost be regarded as a shrine reared by Tintoretto. Works done there are: "Crucifixion", the "Plague of Serpents"; and ceiling with pictures of the "Paschal Feast" and "Moses striking the Rock".
Of pupils Tintoretto had very few. His two sons and Martin de Vos of Antwerp were among them. There are reflections of Tintoretto to be found in the Greek painter of the Spanish Renaissance El Greco, who likely saw his works during a stay in Venice.
He was seized with an attack in the stomach. He died in 1594.