Il Tintoretto 1518 – 1594

The Washing of the Feet (1549)

oil on canvas (210 × 533 cm) — 1548-1549 Museum Museo del Prado, Madrid

Il Tintoretto biography

This work is linked to John 13:5

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Il Tintoretto turns the episode of Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet into an impressive scene set in a vast, well-lit environment. Later in his career he would start to use darker colors.

By washing Peter's feet, Jesus wants to set an example of humility and service towards others.

Tintoretto made a remarkable composition by putting the main action at the extreme right. He did so to accomodate to the original location of the work: the church of San Marcuola in Venice, where it hang opposite a Last Supper. Seen from the right things are literally put into perspective as the Venetian arch becomes the true vanishing point.

Also on the right another room is shown, where the celebration of the Last Supper is taking place.

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