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Jacopo Tintoretto painted the extraordinary The Miracle of the Slave in 1548 and it ranks as one of his most famous paintings
Tintoretto was perhaps the busiest of all Renaissance artists, both in the style in which he aggressively captured animated figures within his compositions as well as the speedy productivity with which he produced his paintings. The portraits oozed movement, pointing towards the changes being brought about by the Mannerist movement.
The Miracle of the Slave serves as an excellent example of how the artist combined the anatomical brilliance of Michelangelo with the vivid colours of the Venetian school. The painting itself was intially commissioned for the Scuola Grande di San Marco but can now be found at the Gallerie dell'Accademia, still in Venice.
Tintoretto was a proud Venetian who rarely left this region, and was well acquainted with various elements of the healthy arts scene to be found here. In that sense it was not a surprise that he would cover Saint Mark within his work, with him being the patron saint of Venice.
Saint Mark appears from the heavens within this painting in order to spare a slave from torture. The slave had turned against his master in order to take the side of the saint. Biblical tales were common throughout most of the Renaissance artist's careers and religion was particularly prominent within Italian society at this time.
Despite not being respected by other artists during his own lifetime, this particular painting was copied in later centuries by many European artists. Some made sketches of the painting using pen and ink or charcoal. The Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice also holds art from the likes of Paolo Veronese, Vittore Carpaccio, Hieronymus Bosch, Giovanni Bellini, Canaletto, Giorgione, Lorenzo Lotto, Andrea Mantegna and Piero della Francesca.