Landmark exhibit of Italian renaissance master Tintoretto to open in U.S. capital

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An exhibition celebrating the 500th anniversary of world-famous Italian Renaissance master Jacopo Tintoretto was presented to the press here on Tuesday.

The landmark exhibition, titled "Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice," coincides with the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the master's birth, Kaywin Feldman, director of the gallery, said during the press preview.

It is the first full-scale retrospective of the master in North America. Nearly 50 paintings and about a dozen works on paper spanning the artist's entire career are to be open to the public at the Washington-based National Gallery of Art from March 24 to July 7.

The paintings range from regal portraits of Venetian aristocrats to religious and mythological narrative scenes.

The highlights include a gallery devoted to portraits, a group of works on loan from the Gallerie dell'Accademia and Palazzo Ducale in Italy, and a film showing the artist's paintings in their Venetian settings.

Two additional exhibitions, "Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice" and Venetian Prints in the Time of Tintoretto, are also set to open on Sunday, exploring the influences and innovations of other great artists in Venice in the 16th century.

Born in Venice around 1518 as Jacopo Robusti, the artist adopted the nickname Tintoretto, or "the little dyer," identifying himself as the son of a dyer.

While primarily self-taught, Tintoretto may have spent brief periods as an apprentice in Titian's workshop and as a painter decorating furniture. Documents indicate he had been working as an artist with his own workshop by 1538, according to the curators.

Tintoretto came in the last wave of the Italian Renaissance. Though overshadowed in art history by Titian, another Venetian master, he has been regarded as one of the greatest Italian painters of the 16th century.

He was also one of the most prolific portrait painters in the history of Italian art, said the curators. 

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