Le Paradis de Tintoret
Musée du Louvre

Musée du Louvre, Aile Sully, until 8 may 2006.

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Few artistic events join sometimes historical stakes.  It is the case of this huge work of Tintoret which took part in a strange graphic tournament.  After a fire which damaged seriously the palate of the doges, between 1578 and 1588, the Venetian authorities launched a contest of painters whose stake was important :  the Crowning of the Virgin, also called Paradise, placed at the place the most viewed of Venice:  the platform of the doge in the room of the Council of the large Ducal palate.  This biblical topic was supposed to teach the paradise on ground, symbolic wish of propaganda for the venetian republic. Five famous artists took share with the contest :  Veronèse, Tintoret, Francesco Bassano, Palma the young and Zuccaro.  This extraordinary exhibition of the Museum of the Louvre recalls the event such as it proceeded at the time.  It joins together around the draft of the Paradise of Tintoret preserved at the Louvre, four other known drafts, a large drawing and several preparatory studies.  Thirty works enable us to visualize, in the same room, the various studies of Tintoret itself beside the projects of Véronèse and Bassano, both gaining ex-aequo first contest.  Already old, Véronèse died out before beginning work.  A second contest gave the opportunity to Tintoret, considered as the greatest Venetian painter alive of the time, after Véronèse.

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