Tintoretto and His Jewish Neighbors

Art historians have almost completely ignored the many connections between the great Old Master and the Jews of Venice. Is there more to be said?

From The Creation of the Animals, 1550-1553, oil on canvas, by Jacopo Tintoretto. National Gallery of Art.

From The Creation of the Animals, 1550-1553, oil on canvas, by Jacopo Tintoretto. National Gallery of Art.

Observation
July 17 2019
About the author

Menachem Wecker, a freelance journalist based in Washington DC, covers art, culture, religion, and education for a variety of publications.


Standing in the largest room of the recent exhibition Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, I was tempted to judge this Old Master, known for his dramatic staging and intense light, by the company of his sitters. In one enormous painting from c. 1575, Alvise Mocenigo, the doge—that is, highest official—of Venice and his family peer out at us while behind them are the Madonna and Child: the Holy Family itself.

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More about: Arts & Culture, Old Masters, Rembrandt, Renaissance, Tintoretto