Giovanni Comin was a tintore or dyer, so everyone used to call young Jacopo, his son, Tintoretto or ‘little dyer’. The name stuck with him forever and perhaps not inappropriately. For, Jacopo dyed vast canvases with the power of his imagination nearly his entire life. When he was about twelve years old, Tintoretto was sent to Titian’s workshop. The training did not last even two full weeks and Tintoretto returned home. There is no dearth of conjectures about the apparent frostiness between their relationships. From this point on, young Jacopo used Michelangelo’s sculptures, models and anatomical sections to perfect his skills in art.
Before long, Tintoretto (circa September 29, 1518 – May 31, 1594) established himself as one of the most revered figures of the Venetian School of art. His paintings were permeated with his proverbial energy and vigour, bordering on restlessness, something that earned him the title of Il Furioso. For thirteen years (1565 – 1587), the artist worked untiringly to create a vast series of paintings for Scuola di San Rocco in Venice. This is generally considered as the epoch of his career.
Noted renaissance artist, Andrea Schiavone used to assist Tintoretto during the creation of many of his frescoes. Later he also found able hands to support him in his daughter Marietta, both a musician and painter whose life was cut short by an untimely death, and son Domenico. However, it was El Greco, the master painter and sculptor from Spain, who became a torch–bearer of Tintoretto’s art. It is apt to recollect Rainer Maria Rilke’s words for summing up the enduring value of Tintoretto’ art,
Most events are inexpressible, taking place in a realm which no word has ever entered, and more inexpressible than all else are works of art, mysterious existences, the life of which, while ours passes away, endures.