Theft of the body of St. Mark, Jacopo Tintoretto

Theft of the body of St. Mark, Jacopo Tintoretto
Theft of the body of St. Mark, Jacopo Tintoretto - 1

  • Posted by Jacopo Tintoretto
  • Museum: Academy Gallery
  • Year: 1562-1566

Overview of the painting :

The abduction of the body of St. Mark – Jacopo Tintoretto. 1562-1566. Oil on canvas. 397×315

   Tintoretto was one of many who made significant contributions to the creation of “marchiana.”. St. Mark, the most popular saint in Venice, was not only her spiritual, religious, Christian heavenly patron, but also the mythological “generation of place”. Therefore, the paintings devoted to him were the implementation of a kind of state program that has been unchanged for centuries.

   Under the flashes of lightning, the entire architecture of the square becomes a fantastic spiritualistic vision and turns from a present with the architectural appearance of the Square of San Marco into an accomplice in a tragic event. In this mature work, Tintoretto marked a new important stage in Venetian art – the picturesque skill in the perfect ability to make promising plans, unexpected angles, create a living environment, show the breath of space in unison to the human connected with intensive searches of essential and symbolic forms of light. And here, with all the entertainment of the Tintoretta compositions, an anti-theater, anti-decorative effect arises, always involving a share of the removal – an exciting feeling of the presence of formidable forces of the divine element. It is it that introduces a new content into the artist’s figurative language, transforming the “myth of Venice”, filling it with drama, which reflects fatal changes in the fate of the city and the state. The image of the camel is noteworthy: it is made illusionist naturally, which sharply distinguishes this animal from its brothers in paintings of the older generation of the Venetian Renaissance. Here, the camel does not seem to be a enumerative “attribute” for creating an oriental surroundings, the angle of rotation of his head conveys the general excitement that pervades the whole composition with restless currents.

   In the history of the martyrdom of Mark, told in the Golden Legend by Jacob of Vorraginsky, it is narrated about that, that the evangelist was captured by the Gentiles on Easter Day during the festive mass, then dragged by a thread on a rope, tightened by the neck, through the whole city and imprisoned, where Christ appeared to the sufferer at night, who comforted him after the greeting. The next morning, torture continued until the last breath of the saint. The executioners intended to burn the torn body, but a storm suddenly broke out, hail scattered the crowd, and Christians were able to carry the fallen for the faith of the shepherd in order to bury him.