Jacopo Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti) (Italian, Venice 1519–1594 Venice), Doge Alvise Mocenigo (1507–1577) Presented to the Redeemer, probably 1577. Oil on canvas, 38 1/4 x 78 in. (97.2 x 198.1 cm). John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1910; 10.206 © 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Unlike most works in the exhibition, this is a preparatory sketch, or modello, and not an independent work. It appears here because Tintoretto played an important role in the Venetian discussion of questions involving finish, and, as it remained unfinished, the sketch provides us with superb insight into the artist's practice. A first idea for a votive painting designed for the doge's palace, a hovering Saint Mark presents the doge, at the center of the composition, to Christ. The manikin-like figure of Mark is evidence of the artist's use of wax or clay study models, and the saint's lion has been sketched over the dark brown ground that Tintoretto used to quickly build up his forms. This technique allowed him the prestezza, or swiftness, for which he was both praised and criticized by his contemporaries and which they associated with the non finito appearance of many of his works.
This work is exhibited in the “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Invisible” exhibition, on view through September 4th, 2016. #MetBreuer