La creazione degli animali

Creation of the Animals

Jacopo Robusti detto Jacopo Tintoretto

Author
Jacopo Robusti detto Jacopo Tintoretto
Venezia, 1519 - 1594
Title
Creation of the Animals
Catalogue
900
Date
1550–1553
Support
Canvas, 140 x 196 cm
Provenance
Purchased 1812, from Venice, Scuola della Santissima Trinità
Hall
Hall XXIII

The canvas comes from the Scuola della Santissima Trinità in Venice, where it was part of a small cycle of paintings on the theme of the creation of the world along with Original Sin and Cain and Abel, which are also in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, and the much reworked The Temptation of Adam and Eve, now at the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. The animals, depicted by Tintoretto as they are being created, are given in successive series, due to the fact that they are represented as moving in only one direction. The figure of God the creator is given the form of an arrow, His feet on the trunk of the large vertical tree and His force bending the trunk of the pliable little tree on the sea shore. Behind Him other animals, such as the unicorn, are depicted only with their heads, giving the painting an almost photographic feel. The cycle of canvases by Tintoretto, mentioned for the first time by Raffaele Borghini (1584), is documented by payments from 1550, and continued another cycle made up of three paintings, now lost, by the Veronese painter Francesco Torbido, which were commissioned from 1547.