Over the weekend, I finally made it over to see the MFA’s current exhibition, “Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice.” Three of the four Crew members (sorry, Colvin) studied and lived together in Venice about 5 years ago, and while we were there we spent a large portion of our time visiting churches and palazzos throughout the city, seeing the incredible works of these three artists in situ. Since then, I’ve seen a Titian here, a Tintoretto there— but I never imagined I would have another opportunity to recreate my Venice experience to this degree. By partnering together with the Louvre, the MFA was able to amass 56 grandiose canvases for this show, transporting you back in time to this pivotal period in Renaissance Venice.
These guys could PAINT. The show is organized thematically, so you can compare and contrast works by all three artists, side by side, as they tackle the same subject matter: the Last Supper and other devotional works, portraiture, the bella donna, and so on. The three men were rivals who competed for patrons, but also great admirers of one another’s work, and the final room is a touching testament to how greatly they influenced one another throughout their careers.
There is also a fascinating portion of the exhibit where the underpainting of a large-scale Tintoretto is examined, revealing that a nativity scene actually had been reinvented from the scraps of a Crucifixion. Talk about doing a 180...
The show is WELL worth seeing for lovers of Renaissance painting. Read more about the exhibit on Boston.com, and the New York Times— both give glowing reviews.