Artibus et Historiae no. 68 (XXXIV)

2013, ISSN 0391-9064

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JOSEPH HAMMOND - Tintoretto and the Presentation of Christ: The Altar of the Purification in Santa Maria dei Carmini, Venice (pp. 203-217)

This article addresses the authorship, iconography and function of Tintoretto’s altarpiece Presentation of Christ in Santa Maria dei Carmini, Venice. It was commissioned by the Scuola dei Compravendi Pesce to decorate the altar of the Purification in approximately 1545. Here the problem of fitting the work into the chronology of Tintoretto is addressed and resolved and new indications that the attribution to Tintoretto is correct are proposed. The argument is based on an iconographical examination of the Presentation in Venice, and Tintoretto is found to have employed features that were novel and repeated in works that we are certain are by him. The unique iconography also contributes to the functioning of the panel which addresses the particular concerns of the Divine Office on the feast of the Purification in very specific ways. How this would have aided the religious function and appealed to its users is explored.

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