Description of the artwork Tintoretto Rescue Arsinoe

Description of the artwork Tintoretto Rescue Arsinoe

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The painting “The Salvation of Arsinoe” was painted by the Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto in 1555-1556. Currently stored in Dresden.

It is not known for certain what prompted Tintoretto to turn to the figure of Arsinoe and make her the central character of the plot picture, if only because it is still not entirely clear what kind of Arsinoe is in question. On the one hand, Arsinoe is an ancient Greek character, mentioned several times in some Hellenistic myths.

On the other hand, Arsinoe is the younger sister of the Egyptian mistress Cleopatra, who after the death of her father claimed the throne, for which she was subjected to all kinds of persecutions and misadventures until the end of her life. In the end, Cleopatra's aspirations found their goal: the younger sister was killed. However, this is not even the case.

And the fact that the picture of the Venetian artist, in this case, does not depict any particular episode from the life of that same persecuted Arsinoe, but rather takes her image as a basis, as well as the oppression of the misfortunes that fell on the girl's lot.

In the picture we see a raging sea, in the left corner of which there is a blackening tower directed towards the sky, near which a fragile boat sways under the pressure of a wild wind. There are four people in it: a young man trying to cope with capricious waves, a nude girl with her back turned to the viewer and, finally, Arsinoe herself, nicknamed a knight chained in rich armor, who, apparently, became the deliverer of the two maidens described earlier.

This is not an artistic retelling of any myth or historical event: Tintoretto just create an idyll riddled with heroism and romance, fettered by the traditions of Renaissance art. Looking at the picture, the viewer should be transported to the country of dreams and sweet thoughts, not burdened with the worries or worries of real life.

However, it is worth noting two moments that knocked out of this folding composition: firstly, the image of striking contrast to the body of Arsinoe and the iron armor of the knight, and secondly, the striking similarity of tones of the battle suit and stone from which the tower is made.

One gets the feeling that so heroically rescued Arsinoe still does not know what changes the dungeon to a casemate: freeing herself from the tower, she falls into a new, no less difficult prisoner. And comprehension of this fact gives the viewer the opportunity to somewhat bring down the original escapist effect produced by the picture.

Portrait of Chopin

Watch the video: Tintoretto Lecture Series, Part 1: Venetian Sixteenth Century Painting (August 2022).