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The most exhilarating painter of the Renaissance and arguably of the whole of western art, Tintoretto was known as Il Furioso because of the attack and energy of his style. His vaunting ambition is recorded in the inscription he placed in his studio: l disegno di Michelangelo ed il colorito di Tiziano ("Michelangelo's drawing and Titian's colour"). The Florentines Vasari and Borghini, and the Venetians Ridolfi and Boschini wrote the earliest biographies of the artist. The four accounts are related each other and form the backbone of the critical success of Tintoretto. Borghini is the first one to give some information about Marietta Tintoretto, also an artist, and Ridolfi is the richest in anecdotes about the artist's life and personality - including the one about the inscription which he may, however, have invented. Boschini, a witty Venetian nationalist, wrote his account in dialect verse. El Greco, whose marginal notes to Vasari are included for the first time in English, Calmo and Franco knew Tintoretto personally and their writings give a real flavour of this complicated man. Unavailable in any form for many years, these biographies have been newly edited for this edition. They are introduced by the scholar Carlo Corsato, who places each in its artistic and literary context. Approximately 50 pages of colour illustrations cover the full range of Tintoretto's astonishing output.
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