30 December, 2008 at 6:24 am (art) (, , , , , , , , )


Finally, an explanation (although incomplete) for the oddness of Jacopo Tintoretto’s ‘Nativity’ – what is now a horizontal painting of the beginning of Jesus Christ’s life used to be a vertical painting of the end of his life.  Still unexplained is why Tintoretto cut up such a large piece and reworked it, apparently a couple decades after completing the original.

Here is an article about the discovery and film of a moment of restoration (or almost a moment anyway, isn’t a moment 40 seconds?).

If you click here you can see the parts of the crucifixion that were remodelled into ‘Nativity’ by comparing the painting to the x-ray.  If you zoom the slider up to the x-ray end and click ‘show lines’ then push the slider back down to see the paint you can see how he cut and re-arranged the pieces of canvas into the current, very different composition.  Now, to find the missing pieces!

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