The Origin of the Milky Way by Tintoretto

The Origin of the Milky Way by Tintoretto
The Origin of the Milky Way by Tintoretto
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This is a work painted on canvas using the oil technique by Jacopo Tintoretto around the year 1575. Currently this painting by the Italian artist is preserved in the National Gallery London.

With this image we are representing a story from classical mythology, according to which Jupiter, the almighty father of the gods Romans, tricked his wife Juno into nursing one of their children, let's call them illegitimate. That son was none other than Hercules, fruit of Jupiter's relationship with Alcmene, a mortal. The father wanted his offspring to become a god by receiving breast milk from a divinity, so he held the baby close to her wife's breast when she was sleeping. But Juno noticed, was startled and suddenly released her milk splashing the sky, which mythologically gave rise to theMilky Way, which would end up sowing lilies on the surface of the Earth.

The Origin of Tintoretto's Milky Way

The Origin of the Milky Way by Tintoretto

So far the legendary tale, but in addition to Tintoretto following it scrupulously, the entire composition of the scene is also based on the myth. He structures everything on the canvas from diagonal lines, which causes the sensation of movement that we see when looking at it. A movement that is based on flights and falls, a kind of chaos that has itsorigin in Juno's rude awakening.

But at the same time, il Tintoretto is not only representing a mythological episode. He takes the opportunity to include endless symbols in the fabric with which he wants to show how it evolved from the beliefs in the Greco-Latin pantheon of gods to the religion of Christianity.

A very interesting image and theme, and even more so considering the historical context in which the work took place. A time when religious beliefs were being hotly debated by those who followed the more humanist theories that took place during the Italian Renaissance.

But beyond the allegories and symbols that the work contains (it had more, since originally the painting was larger, but the lower part was cut out), the truth is that the painting is above all a radiant image, beautiful and with the typical colors of this artist on the way between the end of renaissance art and the forms of mannerist painting. Tintoretto can be considered one of the painters who, in the second half of the 16th century, created some of the most luxurious objects in Europe, and many of them were conceived from religious texts, such as Susanna in the Bath or Finding of the Remains. of San Marcos.

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