Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), Italian, 1518-1594
Tarquin and Lucretia, c. 1578/80
Oil on canvas
68 7/8 x 59 5/8 in. (175 x 151.5 cm)
The Art Institute of Chicago
In a variant of the story, Sextus and Collatinus, at a wine party on furlough, were debating the virtues of wives when Collatinus volunteered to settle the debate by all of them riding to his home to see what Lucretia was doing. She was weaving with her maids. The party awarded her the palm of victory and Collatinus invited them to visit, but for the time being they returned to camp.
At night Sextus entered her bedroom by stealth, quietly going around the slaves who were sleeping at her door. She awakened. He identified himself and offered her two choices: she could submit to his sexual advances and become his wife and future queen, or he would kill her and one of her slaves and place the bodies together, then claim he had caught her having adulterous sex (see sexuality in ancient Rome for Roman attitudes toward sex). In the alternative story, he returned from camp a few days later with one companion to take Collatinus up on his invitation to visit and was lodged in a guest bedroom. He entered Lucretia's room while she lay naked in her bed and started to wash her belly with water, which woke her up.
Tintoretto; born Jacopo Comin, (October, 1518 – May 31, 1594) was an Italian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso. His work is characterized by its muscular figures, dramatic gestures, and bold use of perspective in the Mannerist style, while maintaining color and light typical of the Venetian School.
In his youth, Tintoretto was also known as Jacopo Robusti as his father had defended the gates of Padua in a way that others called robust, against the imperial troops during the War of the League of Cambrai (1509–1516). His real name "Comin" has only recently been discovered by Miguel Falomir, the curator of the Museo del Prado, Madrid, and was made public on the occasion of the retrospective of Tintoretto at the Prado in 2007. More on Tintoretto
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