Drawing in Tintoretto’s Venice

John Marciari

Accompanying an exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., this substantial monograph offers a full overview of the drawings of Jacopo Tintoretto, one of the most celebrated artists of the Italian Renaissance. Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice is a comprehensive account of Tintoretto's work
Date Published :
October 2018
Publisher :
Paul Holberton Publishing
No associated books available.


Jacopo Tintoretto (1518–1594) was among the most distinctive artists of the Italian Renaissance. Yet, although his bold paintings are immediately recognizable, his drawings remain unfamiliar even to many scholars. Drawing in Tintoretto’s Venice offers a complete overview of Tintoretto as a draftsman. It begins with a look at drawings by Tintoretto’s precedents and contemporaries, a discussion intended to illuminate Tintoretto’s sources as well as his originality, and also to explore the historiographical and critical questions that have framed all previous discussion of Tintoretto’s graphic work. Subsequent chapters explore Tintoretto’s evolution as a draftsman and the role that drawings played in his artistic practice—both preparatory drawings for his paintings and the many studies after sculptures by Michelangelo and others—thus examining the use of drawings within the studio as well as teaching practices in the workshop. Later chapters focus on the changes to Tintoretto’s style as he undertook ever larger commissions and accordingly began to manage a growing number of assistants, with special attention paid to Domenico Tintoretto, Palma Giovane, and other artists whose drawing style was influenced by their time working with the master.

The book is published in conjunction with the exhibition Drawing in Tintoretto’s Venice, opening at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, in 2018 and travelling to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in early 2019. All of the drawings in the exhibition are discussed and illustrated, and a checklist of the exhibition is also included in the volume, but the book is a far more widely ranging account of Tintoretto’s drawings and a comprehensive account of his work as a draftsman.

About The Author

John Marciari is Charles W. Engelhard Curator and Head of the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York.


"An in-depth examination of the drawing practice of the monumental Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto."

- The New York Times Book Review, September 2018

"Students, scholars, and art lovers—and especially young curators—should see Drawing in Tintoretto’s Venice ... It is a lovely, bracing primer in how to do an exhibition: perfectly sized ... it shows gorgeous, rarely seen objects, makes its fresh, overarching point early, delivers the evidence in an elegant narrative, and its tangents are both relevant and provocative." 

- The Art Newspaper, October 2018

"Drawing in Tintoretto’s Venice explores the draftsmanship of this son of a dyer — tintore — in comparison to works by Titian, Veronese, Bassano, and others."

- Spectator USA, October 2018

"Splendid ... very attractive catalogue ... absorbing essays."

- Apollo, December 2018

"Scholarly yet eminently readable monograph ... insightful discussions and comparisons ... much further reaching than a mere study of Tintoretto's own drawing, illustrating his significant impact on Venetian art of his time and beyond."

- Art Quarterly

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