'Adam and Eve and Surrounding Saints', detail from 'The Paradise' after Tintoretto'Artist:
, Italian, 1854 - 1931
, Venetian, 1519 - 1594
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Frame: 495 x 647 x 18mm
Sight size: 292 x 418mm
Accession Number: CGSG00198
This is a small detail from Tintoretto's massive work 'Paradiso' or 'The Paradise', which he started in 1588. Tintoretto's original 'Paradiso' shows a vision of heaven with Christ and the Madonna at the centre, surrounded by hundreds of saints and angels. At over 10 metres tall and 25 metres wide it covers the entire wall of the massive council chamber at the Doge's Palace in Venice.
Alessandri's detail shows an area from the lower right area of the work. Following John Ruskin's instructions for this commission, he has left an area of plain white around his detail so the strength of the colour stands out. Ruskin singled out the detail of Adam and Eve and wrote: 'on the right, Adam and Eve, both floating unsupported by cloud or angel... Eve's face is, perhaps, the most beautiful ever painted by Tintoret-full in light, but dark-eyed. Adam floats beside her, his figure fading into a winged gloom, edged in the outline of fig-leaves.'