The Miracle of Saint Mark, Tintoretto

The Miracle of Saint Mark, Tintoretto
The Miracle of Saint Mark, Tintoretto

In the Renaissance era great works of art emerged in Italy, painters who in different styles came to create some of the most outstanding works of art of all time and although it is true that the variety of artistic productions of this stage is immense in broad strokes, art scholars have differentiated two pictorial schools with different characteristics from each other: on the one hand we can find the Roman school that gives greater relevance to the drawing and therefore to the composition of the lines and on the other, the Venetian school more sensitive to chromatism and light effects in works.


However, this distinction is still too general and, as we will see, the authors of both schools were strengthened by both tendencies, for example in the work we are analyzing here known as The Miracle of Saint Mark or Saint Mark Freeing the Slave by Tintoretto shows both great mastery of composition and color.

Jacopo Comin (1518 – 1594) and better known by the name of Tintoretto was probably one of the greatest representatives of the Venetian Renaissance and according to some experts the last great genius of the Renaissance. The son of a Venetian dyer, the first years of his training took place in Titian's workshop, however the relationship between the two was never very fluid and in hisInstead, the master soon disowned his young apprentice, perhaps aware of his technical skills. Since then Tintoretto trained on his own by studying the classics. Throughout the thirties he began to paint his first important pieces but his true fame would come in the last years of the forties when the artist began to paint a series of canvases on the pattern of Venice, San Marcos, which would bring him great success. On this occasion we find a canvas painted around the year 1548 in a large horizontal format that is almost five and a half meters wide and just over four meters high.

In it the Venetian has depicted a scene taken from Jacopo's Golden Legend of the Maelstrome in which the patron saint of the city descends from the heavens to save a slave who had been condemned to die in a frightful torture for venerating his mortal remains and relics. Death was to be carried out in a torture device that would leave him blind and break his bones, but the saint descends from heaven to prevent it.

Thus, in the center of the composition we find both the figure of the slave lying on the ground awaiting his martyrdom and Saint Mark descending on the believer in a powerful foreshortening. Around both of them we find multiple characters that in different postures and expressions that the artist has worked through the drawing in a prodigious way while the striking color recalls its origin.Venetian.

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