Sunday, December 25, 2022

The Madonna of the Stars

 The attribution of this painting by Washington DC’s National Gallery of Art is listed as "Jacopo Tintoretto and Workshop." They can't be absolutely sure that he painted it. The hands, in particular, don't quite pass muster. In the late 1500s, artists often had many assistants working and learning, with the master, who painted the faces and sometimes the hands. In his day, Tintoretto was criticized for his speedy, less finished brush strokes. I love the unpolished look of the clouds and stars and the yellow background instead of an expensive blue sky. Mostly, I love that Jesus and Mary look like real people. Contemporary accounts describe Tintoretto as a family man who gave much of his earnings to the poor, the kind of man who would paint such an empathetic portrait of a mother and child.