Il Tintoretto 1518 – 1594

The Washing of the Feet (1580)

oil on canvas (204 × 410 cm) — c. 1575-1580 Museum The National Gallery, London

Il Tintoretto biography

This work is linked to John 13:5

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Before the Last Supper Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. At the time, offering water to guests for cleaning the feet was a sign of hospitality. Sometimes a servant would do the work. Jesus went a step further, a sign of humility: "The servant is not greater than his lord".

After washing Peter's feet, he urges the apostles to wash each other's feet.

This large canvas was made fot the church of San Trovaso in Venice, where it remained until the end of the 18th century. The painting is much darker and more intimate than Tintoretto's earlier take on the subject.

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