Rediscovered Tintoretto exhibit in Padova


The rediscovered Tintoretto is an exhibition currently in Padova displaying some Tintoretto paintings. Last week I had the pleasure to attend the press conference.

Tintoretto is an exponent of the Renaissance school, nicknamed Il Furioso for his energy while painting. And so I can see the similarity between him and the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi who rediscovered the paintings. Despite being a very erudite and competent critic, Sgarbi has quite a temper. He is famous in Italy for his rage outbursts and quarrels on TV. Super memorable is his habit of repeating unrelentingly the word “capra” (goat, meaning ignorant) when someone disagrees with him. He’s a character. That being so, he is very loved and very hated as well. I can’t help to find him funny. And by the way he looks a bit like my eldest brother.

The rediscovered Tintoretto story

8 paintings have been acquired by the Eremitani Museum (Civic Museum of Padova) in 1968 thanks to the legacy of Countess Giulia Giusti del Giardino, together with the Loggia and Odeo Cornaro. They were Tintoretto paintings coming from an aristocratic palazzo in Venice. But, when they entered the Museum collection, someone registered them under the name of a Flemish Tintoretto imitator. After 1979 restoration, the art historians Pallucchini and Paola Rossi attributed the canvas to a young Tintoretto (1543-1544). But that was not the final word. The author of the catalogue card didn’t recognize this attribution and wrote Tintoretto imitator. Under these circumstances, the paintings were removed from the Museum and displayed in the mayor’s office. Vittorio Sgarbi, during a meeting with the mayor, noticed them and realized they were original Tintoretto. He said, during the press conference:

Why on earth would have anyone wanted to imitate a young unknown artist? I recognize with no doubt the style of a young Tintoretto, his quick brush strokes, his rich colours.

The painting represent mythological subjects, mainly inspired to the Methamporphosis by Ovidio, a real 1500s best seller.

  • Judgment of Paris
  • Cercopi turned into monkeys
  • Briseis reproaches Achilles
  • Deucalion and Pyrrha
  • Apollo and Marsyas
  • Venus and Adonis
  • Jupiter and Semele
  • Lamentation over the dead Adonis

They are now displayed in a Eremitani Civic Museum section as a part of the Museum tour and they will be on display until September 25 together with Diana and cupid and Minerva, coming form the private collection of the Countess heirs. All Tintoretto admirers are invited.

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