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Tintoretto’s Venice


“Tintoretto is Venice even if he does not paint Venice” wrote Jean Paul Sartre. And indeed, the artist’s biography is so viscerally linked to the city’s history that, even today, it is easy to imagine his daily life among the “calli” and “campielli” of the Serenissima, from the nobles’ courts to the dyers’ district. On the other hand, the city, at the time not always appreciative of the artist’s mastery, today misses no opportunity to pay tribute to him.

Born Jacopo Robusti in 1518, Tintoretto owes his pseudonym to his father’s trade as a fabric dyer. The nicknames “The Furious” or, as Vasari called him, “The Terrible” derive instead from his impetuous character and dramatic use of perspective and light. Considered one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance, Tintoretto’s influence extends to the Impressionists.

From the Sestiere Cannaregio, where the painter lived from 1547 onward, to the Church of the Madonna dell’Orto that guards his remains, the map of places linked to the artist allows one to follow his traces and admire the stylistic evolution of his work.

At 3399 Fondamenta dei Mori, a plaque placed on the facade of a Gothic building admonishes the traveler: “Do not ignore, wayfarer, the ancient house of Jacopo Robusti known as Tintoretto. From here to everywhere spread innumerable paintings, admirable publicly and privately, masterfully executed with fine ingenuity by his brush.” In the Church of San Marziale we find the altarpiece painted in 1549: Saint Martial in Glory with Saints Peter and Paul. Overlooking the Grand Canal, the Church of San Marcuola houses the Last Supper (1547), while in the Giorgio Franchetti Gallery at Ca’ D’Oro we find the Portrait of the Procurator Nicol√≤ Priuli. But the greatest splendor of Tintoretto’s pictorial work can be found in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where we can admire the most impressive and virtuoso pictorial cycle in Venice.

In a city that was both mother and stepmother, often wary of such extravagant, rebellious, and sometimes inconvenient painting, at Hostaria Bacanera we are proud to host no less than two paintings by Tintoretto within our location, and equally proud to be able to show them to you who come to visit us.