Marks, Inscriptions, and Distinguishing Features
The picture shows Apollo, god of poetry and music, with the Nine Muses, the goddesses of knowledge and artistic inspiration. In the sixteenth century, the theme of Apollo leading the Muses in song was associated with the concept of the divine harmony of the spheres. Here one Muse holds a lute, another plays a harpsichord, and a third tunes her instrument, while others hold what are presumably musical scores. Apollo appears at upper left, bearing a lira da braccio, similar to a violin, with a quiver of arrows slung over his shoulder and a bow in his right hand. In the background at the left edge is a fountain topped by a statue of the winged horse Pegasus, an allusion to the myth that the Muses were born from four sacred springs that burst forth when he touched his hooves to the ground on Mount Helicon. 1 The palette is limited; pale skin tones and blue draperies dominate the composition, which is enlivened by pronounced shadows and shafts of light.
The picture in the Clowes Collection is one of at least ten known depictions of the Concert of the Muses or related subjects produced by Jacopo Robusti, known as Tintoretto (1519–1594), and his studio. Tintoretto, along with Titian (about 1488–1576) and Paolo Veronese (1528–1588), was one of the three great painters in Venice in the second half of the sixteenth century. His paintings are notable for their free, painterly technique (sometimes described as “drawing in paint”), their compositional dynamism, and their unconventional approaches to the depiction of narrative scenes. Whatever the subject, Tintoretto’s focus was the muscular human body in action. His compositions are built up from the relationships among individual figures, each typically based upon a seminude figure study. Tintoretto was known for his lifelong devotion to drawing from live models and ancient and contemporary sculpture.
Tintoretto was unquestionably the busiest artist in the Venice of his day. No one else came close to matching the sheer number of pictures he provided for the city’s churches, confraternities, government buildings, and private palaces. Jacopo Tintoretto employed workshop assistants throughout his mature career, but in the 1570s his studio practice reached an almost industrial scale while retaining the character of a family firm. Its members included his daughter Marietta, born in 1554, and his son Domenico, born in 1560. Domenico became the key figure in the bottega, as the most trusted assistant during Jacopo’s lifetime and taking over the studio after his father’s death. Among other workshop assistants and associates were painters from Northern Europe, some of whom went on to have independent careers. As the size of his workshop grew, Tintoretto accepted an astonishing number of large commissions. Increasingly he devoted his own time to seeking commissions, planning projects, and designing compositions, leaving much of the actual painting to helpers. Often assistants or associates copied or adapted compositions by the master to create their own versions. Assumptions about studio practices, based on multiple surviving versions of a single subject, have led to difficult questions of attribution. 2
Although the subject of the Concert of the Muses in Renaissance painting can be traced back to Raphael’s Parnassus in the Vatican Palace and other Italian sources, its appearance in Venice reflects a vogue for such pictures in the Netherlands that began in the 1560s. For example, the Concert of the Apollo and the Muses by Maerten von Heemskerk (fig. 1) bears a date of 1565. Northern European painters gravitating around Tintoretto’s studio seem to have played the leading role in disseminating the subject to Venice in the 1570s. 3
Jacopo Tintoretto’s primary treatment of the subject is the very large The Muses (fig. 2) now in the British Royal Collection. The picture is of high quality and seems to be largely autograph, showing Tintoretto’s vigorous brushwork and powerfully modeled figures, convincing in their three-dimensionality. Many changes to the composition, some visible to the naked eye and others apparent in infrared reflectography, reveal Tintoretto’s practice of adjusting the composition as he worked it up on the canvas from individual figure drawings. The picture, which was in the collection of the dukes of Mantua by 1627, was probably painted in about 1578 for Guglielmo Gonzaga (1538–1587), the third duke. The secular subject and patronage by a foreign aristocrat represented something of a change for Tintoretto, who had heretofore primarily specialized in religious subjects for churches and confraternities in Venice. But Titian had died in 1576, and Tintoretto seems to have attempted to attract the princely patrons that his older rival had previously monopolized. The Muses may have been designed to demonstrate Tintoretto’s ability to equal Titian as a painter of erudite classical subjects and in particular depictions of the female nude, showing off his mastery in a variety of poses evoking classical sculptures. In addition, Guglielmo Gonzaga was known for his musical interests, as was Tintoretto, and the subject would have undoubtedly been appealing to both. 4
Presumably the success of the Gonzaga picture led Tintoretto to produce other versions of the theme and related subjects. Most are clearly workshop products. A fragment (now Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) of another picture on the same scale, depicting the seated Muse in the lower left corner of the Royal Collection picture, probably originally represented the identical or a similar composition. Other related pictures include one in Dresden (Gemäldegalerie) and one in Munich (Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, on permanent loan to the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum). The sheet music depicted in these two pictures has been identified, providing a terminus post quem clarifying that the two paintings should be dated after 1566. A large painting of Apollo, the Three Graces, and the Nine Muses, with complex iconography, was destroyed in Dresden in World War II; the Muses at the right appeared in roughly the same poses as those at the right in the Royal Collection picture. 5 According to his seventeenth-century biographer Carlo Ridolfi (1594–1658), Tintoretto supplied a Concert of the Muses for the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II (1552–1612), and scholars have debated whether one of these pictures could be that commission. Ridolfi also mentions two paintings of the Muses by Tintoretto in Venetian private collections.6
The Clowes picture is a variant of the much-larger Royal Collection composition, closer to it than any of the pictures mentioned above. It shows only a few major compositional differences, notably the depiction of Apollo. In the Royal Collection picture, Apollo’s face is barely suggested in the distant burst of sunlight. In the Clowes version, the painter displaces one Muse to the right background. The reclining Muse at the bottom center in the Royal Collection version, holding a geometrical drawing and dividers, appears in a more upright pose in the Clowes picture, with her attributes replaced by a book, presumably a musical score. Infrared reflectography of the Indianapolis picture reveals underdrawing (fig. 3), showing that her pose is closer to that in the Royal Collection version, as she reclines along the lower margin and looks downward. In addition, the underdrawing for the Muse standing upright with her back to us at right originally showed her as much taller, her head closer to the upper margin, as in the Royal Collection picture. Other poses and relationships among the figures vary slightly between the Clowes and Royal Collection versions. The reflectograph also shows trees not in the final version. The statue of Pegasus does not appear in the Royal Collection version, though it does appear in other treatments of the subject by Tintoretto studio assistants or followers.
The attribution of the Clowes painting to Jacopo Tintoretto has been entwined with its distinguished early provenance. Although its whereabouts before the middle of the seventeenth century is unknown, the picture was recorded, with an attribution to Jacopo Tintoretto, in an engraving by Nicolaus van Hoy in David Teniers the Younger’s Theatrum Pictorium (fig. 4), depicting the most admired Italian paintings belonging to Archduke Leopold Wilhelm (1614–1662). 7 The attribution to Jacopo Tintoretto was retained in the catalogues (1882 and later) of the Vienna museum, to which it had passed, and in the later Tintoretto monograph of Erich von der Berken and August L. Mayer (1923), as well as in written opinions by Lionello Venturi (1937) and William Suida (undated, possibly around 1949). But that attribution has not been maintained in the modern Tintoretto literature, which has dealt with the picture primarily in terms of subject matter and its relation to the Royal Collection painting. Hans Tietze seems to accept it as autograph in the 1940 Indianapolis exhibition catalogue, but in his 1948 Tintoretto monograph he simply identifies it as a variant of the Royal Collection painting, without comment on the attribution. Mary Pittaluga (1925), Bernard Berenson (1957), and Erasmus Weddigen (1984) identify it as a product of the Tintoretto workshop. Claire (Klara) Garas (1967) calls it “school of Tintoretto,” while John Shearman (1983) judges it “not likely to be a product of Tintoretto’s studio.” John Maxon (1957) calls it “studio of Domenico Tintoretto.” In the major Tintoretto monograph of Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi (1982), Rossi attributes it to the young Domenico Tintoretto, as does Maria Agnese Chiari Moretto Wiel in a later catalogue (1994).8 The Indianapolis Museum of Art adopted that attribution in 2011.
The abandonment of the attribution to Jacopo himself, starting in the mid-twentieth century, is borne out by weaknesses in the execution. The figures lack the dynamism, anatomical confidence, and specificity that characterize the artist’s autograph work, confirming that it was executed by a studio assistant or follower rather than the master. Indeed, the weakest figure is the spindly Apollo, who does not appear in the original version and thus was not available to copy. The figure is a reverse of that of Christ in two versions of the Resurrection (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, fig. 5; Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart), both by Tintoretto followers working in the style of Tintoretto’s paintings, 1578–1581, for the Sala Superiore of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. 9
The size of the picture, small by Tintoretto standards, has raised questions about its original function. All the surviving pictures on the theme from the Tintoretto studio are much larger, with the exception of two versions on panel, which were apparently executed for the inside top of a harpsichord or similar keyboard instrument. 10 Since this picture is somewhat larger, and on canvas, it is unlikely to have served to decorate a musical instrument. Both the painting’s overall size and the scale of its figures are considerably smaller than those typically found in a Venetian quadro da portego, that is, a gallery picture intended to decorate the main hall on the piano nobile of a palace in Venice, adding to the mystery.11 The Clowes picture is, however, sometimes referred to as a sketch.12 As a general matter, Tintoretto seems not to have used complete compositional sketches as part of his process, though he did produce a few when required by the patron.13 It is certainly conceivable that Tintoretto had Domenico or another studio assistant work up a sketch based on the Gonzaga painting to send to a patron, perhaps one from beyond the Alps, where the subject was so popular and where several versions of it by Tintoretto ended up, in the hopes of generating a full-sized commission. On the other hand, it is also possible that the Indianapolis picture is simply a rare independent work of this size. For example, Ridolfi mentions “a capriccio of the muses in a little painting” by Tintoretto in the Barbarigo collection in Venice (although it was still in place in the nineteenth century, so it could not be the Clowes picture).14
The relationship to works of 1578–1581 suggests that the Clowes picture dates from roughly this period, perhaps while the Gonzaga/Royal Collection picture was still in the studio. In these years, Domenico Tintoretto was just beginning to take on a significant role in his father’s workshop, and the Clowes painting shows similarities to what was to become Domenico’s characteristic style. These include the treatment of the nudes and in particular the facial features and curly hairstyles of the Muse at center at the keyboard and the Muse playing the lute in the lower left. Their faces resemble those found in Domenico’s paintings. 15 The underdrawings visible through infrared reflectography also show a general similarity to Domenico’s lumpy graphic style: see, for example, his drawing Diana and Calisto, now in the British Museum (fig. 6), in which the figures reveal numerous analogies to the underdrawings in the Clowes picture.16 Indeed, the Clowes picture is potentially one of the first paintings in which we can see Domenico’s distinctive hand emerging in a studio production. Nevertheless, as a product of the Tintoretto workshop, the picture would have been understood by the original owner as “by Tintoretto.” It is thus best attributed to “Workshop of Tintoretto, possibly Domenico Tintoretto.”
Archduke Leopold Wilhelm (1614–1662), Brussels, then Vienna, by at least 1659;17
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Vienna, by 1895, and Staatsmuseum, Vienna, by 1923;18
In the Salzburg Residenz by 1933;
Purchased by I.G. Pollak in 1933.19
Lionello Venturi (1885–1961), Paris, by 1935;20
(Jacques Seligmann & Co., Paris, then New York) in 1935.21
(E. and A. Silberman Galleries, New York);22
G.H.A. Clowes, Indianapolis, by 1940;23
The Clowes Fund, Indianapolis, from 1958–2014, and on long-term loan to the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 1971 (C10073);
Given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, in 2014.
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH, 1940, Four Centuries of Venetian Painting, no. 56;
John Herron Art Museum, Indianapolis, 1954, Pontormo to Greco: The Age of Mannerism, no. 57;
John Herron Art Museum, Indianapolis, 1959, Paintings from the Collection of George Henry Alexander Clowes: A Memorial Exhibition, no. 54;
Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, 1962, Italian and Spanish Paintings from the Clowes Collection, no. 21.
David Teniers the Younger, Theatrum Pictorium (Antwerp: Hendrick Aertssens, 1660);
Gustav K. Nagler, Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon; oder Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Werken der Maler, Bildhauer, Baumeister, Kupferstecher etc., 22 vols. (Munich: E.A. Fleischmann, 1835–1852; reprint ed., Linz, 1904–1914), 7:155, no. 2;
Charles Le Blanc, Manuel de l’amateur d’estampes (Paris: Chez P. Jannet, 1856), 2:398, no. 9;
Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses (Vienna, 1882), no. 463;
Franz Wickhoff, “Les Écoles italiennes au Musée Impérial de Vienne,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 35 (1893): 140;
Führer durch die Gemälde-galerie. Alte-Meister. I. Italienische, Spanische, Französische Schulen (Vienna: Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, 1895), no. 241;
J.B. Stoughton Holborn, Jacopo Robusti Called Tintoretto (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1903), 96;
Führer durch die Gemälde-galerie. Alte-Meister. I. Italienische, Spanische, Französische Schulen (Vienna: Kunsthistorishcen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, 1904), 77, no. 241;
Erich von der Bercken and August L. Mayer, Jacopo Tintoretto, 2 vols. (Munich: R. Piper & Co., 1923), 1:247;
Mary Pittaluga, Tintoretto (Bologna: N. Zanichelli, 1925), 142;
Four Centuries of Venetian Painting, exh. cat. (Toledo, OH: Toledo Museum of Art, 1940), cat. no. 56 (ill.);
Hans Tietze, Tintoretto (New York: Phaidon Press, 1948), 351;
Walter F. Friedländer, Pontormo to Greco: The Age of Mannerism, exh. cat. (Indianapolis: John Herron Art Museum, 1954), cat. no. 57;
John Maxon, “Two Notes on Tintoretto. II. A Sketch by Domenico Robusti il Tintoretto,” Bulletin of Rhode Island School of Design (December 1957), 2n11;
Bernard Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Venetian School, 2 vols. (London: Phaidon Press, 1957), 1:173;
Paintings from the Collection of George Henry Alexander Clowes: A Memorial Exhibition, exh. cat. (Indianapolis: John Herron Art Museum, 1959), cat. no. 54;
Italian and Spanish Paintings from the Clowes Collection, exh. cat. (Bloomington: Indiana University Art Museum, 1962), no. 21;
Claire (Klara) Garas, “Le tableau du Tintoret du Musée de Budapest et le cycle peint pour l’empereur Rodophe II,” Bulletin du Musée Hongrois des Beaux-Arts 30 (1967): 44, fig. 34;
Klara Garas, “Das Schicksal der Sammlung des Erzherzogs Leopold Wilhelm,” Jahrbuch der Kunshistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 64 (1968): 224n357;
A. Ian Fraser, A Catalogue of the Clowes Collection (Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1973), 34;
Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi, Tintoretto: Le opere sacre e profane, 2 vols. (Milan: Electa, 1982), 1:245, cat. A46; 2: fig. 671;
Paolo Ticozzi, Immagini dal Tintoretto: Stampe dal XVI al XIX secolo nelle collezioni del Gabinetto delle Stampe, exh. cat (Rome: Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica/Rome: De Luca, 1982), 40;
John Shearman, The Early Italian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) 243;
Erasmus Weddigen, “Jacopo Tintoretto und die Musik,” Artibus et Historiae 10 (1984): 98, fig. 19;
Maria Agnese Chiari Moretto Wiel, Jacopo Tintoretto e i suoi incisori, exh. cat. (Venice: Palazzo Ducale/Milan: Electa, 1994), 50–52;
Lucy Whitaker and Martin Clayton, The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection: Renaissance and Baroque (London: Royal Collection Trust, 2007), 227, fig. 103;
Liana De Girolami Cheney, “Jacopo Tintoretto’s Female Concert: The Realm of Venus,” Journal of Literature and Art Studies 6, no. 5 (May 2016): 490–491, fig. 9.
Technical Notes and Condition
The support is a single piece of twill-weave canvas. The lack of the original tacking margins indicates that the picture has been cut down slightly, as visible by comparison to the engraving after David Teniers. The canvas has been relined.
Infrared reflectography shows prominent underdrawing executed in a fluid medium, probably oil paint. Notable adjustments to the composition include the elimination of the trees in the background, visible in the underdrawing but later painted out of the composition, and changes in the position of limbs and relative size of some of the Muses.
The paint is applied relatively thinly, with generally broad, loose brushwork and no areas of impasto. The color palette is limited, consisting primarily of earth pigments, pale skin tones, and blues in the figures' robes and sky. Ultramarine appears in the blue robes. A few bright red highlights are present on the figures' faces.
The picture shows evidence of several campaigns of varnish and retouching, but documentation of past treatment is lacking. Structurally, the painting is in stable condition, although suffering from discolored varnish, areas of abrasion, and retouchings that have become discolored and show pronounced textural differences.
On the iconography of Apollo and the Muses, see A.P. de Mirimonde, “Les concerts des muses chez les maîtres du nord,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 63 (1964): 129–158; H. Colin Slim, “Tintoretto’s ‘Music Making Women’ at Dresden,” Imago Musicae 4 (1987): 45–76; and Liana De Girolami Cheney, “Jacopo Tintoretto’s Female Concert: The Realm of Venus,” Journal of Literature and Art Studies 6, no. 5 (May 2016): 478–499. ↩︎
On Jacopo Tintoretto and his studio, see Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice, ed. Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman, exh. cat. (Venice and Washington: Palazzo Ducale and National Gallery of Art/New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2018–2019), especially 28–35. On problems associated with the Tintoretto catalogue, see Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman, “Toward a New Tintoretto Catalogue, with a Checklist of Revised Attributions and a New Chronology,” in Jacopo Tintoretto: Actas del Congreso Internacional “Jacopo Tintoretto” (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2009), 91–150. ↩︎
Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman, “Toward a New Tintoretto Catalogue, with a Checklist of Revised Attributions and a New Chronology,” in Jacopo Tintoretto: Actas del Congreso Internacional “Jacopo Tintoretto” (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2009), 106–109. ↩︎
Lucy Whitaker and Martin Clayton, The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection: Renaissance and Baroque (London: Royal Collection Trust, 2007), 227–229. The picture measures 81-3/8 × 122 in. (206.7 × 309.8 cm) and currently hangs in Kensington Palace, London. See also Miguel Falomir, “Mythologies,” in Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice, ed. Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman, exh. cat. (Venice and Washington: Palazzo Ducale and National Gallery of Art/New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2018–2019), 191–199, especially 196–198, and 258. ↩︎
In addition to the treatments of the theme mentioned in the principal text, other related pictures include Contest of the Muses and Pierides (Verona, Museo del Castelvecchio) and Concert of the Muses and Other Divinities (formerly Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, private collection), both on panel and probably originally decorating the inside top of a harpsicord or similar instrument, and a Concert of the Muses in a private collection in Rome. For these, the Amsterdam fragment, and the Dresden Six Female Musicians, see Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi, Tintoretto: Le opere sacre e profane, 2 vols. (Milan: Electa, 1982), 1: cats. 102, 103, 190, 204, 382; 2: figs. 129, 130, 252, 268, 493. See also Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman, “Toward a New Tintoretto Catalogue, with a Checklist of Revised Attributions and a New Chronology,” in Jacopo Tintoretto: Actas del Congreso Internacional “Jacopo Tintoretto” (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2009), 106–109 and checklist nos. F21, C47, C72, 215, 200. On the lost Dresden Apollo, the Muses, and the Three Graces, see Claire (Klara) Garas, “Le tableau du Tintoret du Musée de Budapest et le cycle peint pour l’empereur Rodophe II,” Bulletin du Musée Hongrois des Beaux-Arts 30 (1967): 29–48, fig. 34, and H. Colin Slim, “Tintoretto’s ‘Music Making Women’ at Dresden,” Imago Musicae 4 (1987): 45–76, fig. 9. On the Munich Contest of the Muses and the Pierides, see Erasmus Weddigen, “Jacopo Tintoretto und die Musik,” Artibus et Historiae 10 (1984): 67–119, fig. 10. In the opinion of the present authors, all the works considered in this note are by Tintoretto workshop assistants or followers. Some recent scholars, however, believe the Dresden Six Female Musicians and the Verona Contest of the Muses and Pierides to be autograph works by Jacopo Tintoretto. ↩︎
Carlo Ridolfi, Le maraviglie dell’arte, ed. Detlev Freiherr von Hadeln, 2 vols. (Berlin, 1914–1924), 2:50. Discussed by Claire (Klara) Garas, “Le tableau du Tintoret du Musée de Budapest et le cycle peint pour l’empereur Rodophe II,” Bulletin du Musée Hongrois des Beaux-Arts 30 (1967): 29–48; and H. Colin Slim, “Tintoretto’s ‘Music Making Women’ at Dresden,” Imago Musicae 4 (1987): 58–65. ↩︎
Maria Agnese Chiari Moretto Wiel, Jacopo Tintoretto e i suoi incisori, exh. cat. (Venice: Palazzo Ducale, 1994), cat. no. 34, 50–52. How this painting came to be Leopold Wilhelm’s collection is unknown; the small size suggests that it might have been added to top off a larger consignment of pictures from Venice, such as the outstanding works of Giorgione, Titian, and Antonello da Messina from Venetian collector Bartolomeo dalla Nave (or della Nave, about 1571–1632) that were sold to the Marquess of Hamilton and then to Leopold Wilhelm about 1650; these pictures still form the core of the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s Venetian holdings. For Dalla Nave and his collection, see Simone Furtlehner and Rosella Lauber in Il collezionismo d’arte a Venezia: Il Seicento, ed. Linda Borean and Stefania Mason (Venice: Marsilio, 2007), 258–261. ↩︎
For all of the published attributions, see References. The Venturi and Suida manuscript opinions are in files at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. ↩︎
Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi, Tintoretto: Le opere sacre e profane, 2 vols. (Milan: Electa, 1982), 1: cats. 199, A93; 2: figs. 257, 716. ↩︎
For this category of independent picture pioneered in sixteenth-century Venice, see Monika Schmitter, “The Quadro da Portego in Sixteenth-Century Venetian Art,” Renaissance Quarterly, 64, no. 3 (Fall 2011): 693–751. ↩︎
E.g., Erasmus Weddigen, “Jacopo Tintoretto und die Musik,” Artibus et Historiae 10 (1984): 98, referring to the Indianapolis picture as an “abozzo,” or sketch. ↩︎
Roland Krischel, “Tintoretto at Work,” in Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman, Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice, exh. cat. (Venice and Washington: Palazzo Ducale and National Gallery of Art/New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2018–2019), 54. Examples of patrons for whom compositional sketches by Tintoretto have survived are Duke Guglielmo Gonzaga of Mantua and, on several occasions, government officials of the Venetian Republic. ↩︎
Carlo Ridolfi, Le maraviglie dell’arte, ed. Detlev Freiherr von Hadeln, 2 vols. (Berlin, 1914–1924), 2:54. The reference was pointed out by Tietze in Four Centuries of Venetian Painting, exh. cat. (Toledo, OH: Toledo Museum of Art, 1940), cat. no. 56. ↩︎
The best comparisons to works from the Tintoretto studio that have been associated with Domenico are in several pictures from the undated cycle on the life of Saint Catherine of Alexandria executed for the convent of Santa Caterina: The Scourging of Saint Catherine, Saint Catherine in Prison, and Saint Catherine Martyred on the Wheel. Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi, Tintoretto: Le opere sacre e profane, 2 vols. (Milan: Electa, 1982), 1: cats. 428, 429, 430; 2: figs. 545, 546, and 548; Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman, “Toward a New Tintoretto Catalogue, with a Checklist of Revised Attributions and a New Chronology,” in Jacopo Tintoretto: Actas del Congreso Internacional “Jacopo Tintoretto” (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2009), checklist nos. 276, 275, 273. These are not universally identified as by Domenico, however; see Giovanna Nepi Sciré, “Nos. 29–34, Il Ciclo di Santa Caterina,” in Tintoretto: Il Ciclo di Santa Caterina e la quadreria del Palazzo Patriarcale, exh. cat. (Venice: Museo Diocesano/Milan: Skira, 2005). The cycle of paintings celebrating the history of the Gonzaga family (Munich, Alte Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen), firmly documented to 1578–1580, is considered to be largely by Domenico, working from his father’s figure drawings. There are general similarities to the Indianapolis painting in the few female (but not nude) figures, e.g., The Entry of the Infante Philip into Mantua. Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi, Tintoretto: Le opere sacre e profane, 2 vols. (Milan: Electa, 1982), 1: cat. 399; 2: fig. 511; Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman, “Toward a New Tintoretto Catalogue, with a Checklist of Revised Attributions and a New Chronology,” in Jacopo Tintoretto: Actas del Congreso Internacional “Jacopo Tintoretto” (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2009), checklist no. 243; and Cornelia Syre, ed., Tintoretto: Der Gonzaga-Zyklus, exh. cat. (Munich: Alte Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen/Munich: Hatje Cantz Publishers, 2000), 108–118, cat. no. 8. ↩︎
British Museum, no. 1907.0717.9. Hans Tietze and Erika Tietze-Conrat, The Drawings of the Venetian Painters in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (New York, 1944; reprint ed., New York: Hacker Art Books, 1979), 264, no. 1526/9. Another comparison is a drawing showing a different version of the Concert of the Muses: Hans Tietze and Erika Tietze-Conrat, The Drawings of the Venetian Painters in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (New York, 1944; reprint ed. New York: Hacker Art Books, 1979), 260, no. 1472, plate CXVII (Amsterdam, Nicholas Beets Collection). For recent perspectives on Domenico’s drawing style, see John Marciari, Drawing in Tintoretto’s Venice, exh. cat (New York: Morgan Library and Museum and National Gallery of Art/London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2018–2019), 143–165; Gabriele Matino, “Domenico Tintoretto’s Life Drawing: Anatomy of Artistic Reform,” in Gabriele Matino and Cynthia Klestinec, eds., Art, Faith and Medicine in Tintoretto’s Venice, exh. cat. (Venice: Scuola Grande di San Marco/Venice: Marsilio and Save Venice, Inc., 2018–2019), 85–93; and Michiaki Koshikawa, “Jacopo and Domenico Tintoretto as Draftsmen: Some Debatable Works from circa 1580–1600,” Aspects of Problems in Western Art History 17 (2019): 135–142. ↩︎
The painting is listed as no. 357 in a 1659 handwritten inventory, transcribed and published in 1883; see Adolf Berger, “Inventar der Kunstsammlung des Erzherzogs Leopold Wilhelm von Ősterreich, nach der Originalhandschrift im Fürstlich Schwarzenberg’schen Centralarchive,” in Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 1, part 2 (1883), cvi. It is also included as an unnumbered engraving by Nicolaus van Hoy in David Teniers the Younger’s Theatrum Pictorium (Antwerp: Hendrick Aertssen, 1660), which documents Habsburg Archduke Leopold Wilhelm’s most admired Italian paintings; the engraving is also included as plate 106 in a second edition of this publication (Antwerp: Jacob Peeters, 1684). ↩︎
The painting is included in Führer durch die Gemälde-Galerie, Alte Meister. I., Italienische, Spanische und Französische Schulen (Vienna: Kunsthistorische Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, 1895), no. 241 as Jacopo Tintoretto, and this number is written on the stretcher’s crossbar. The painting is subsequently listed as in the Staatsmuseum, Vienna, in Erich von der Bercken and August L. Mayer, Tintoretto (Munich: R. Piper & Co. 1923), 1, 247. ↩︎
Francesca Del Torre, curator, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, email message to Annette Schlagenhauff, 10 October 2014, which states that this painting served as a decorative picture in the Residenz Salzburg until its sale on 1 February 1933 to “Commendatore J.(sic) G. Pollak.” This is likely a reference to Ignaz (Ignace) George Pollak, diplomatic envoy of San Marino to Germany and Austria, about whom little is known. ↩︎
Venturi is identified as the owner on Invoice of Merchandise, 24 September 1935, Box 299, Folder 9 (Invoices 1935), Jacques Seligmann & Co. Records, Archives of American Art. Here it states that “Apollon et les muses” was received from Prof. L. Venturi on consignment on 11 July 1935, and will be sent to Werner Jucker in New York, via Le Havre, in September 1935. Jucker likely worked with the Seligmann family as a receiving agent in New York. Venturi also issued an expertise on this painting, wherein he stated, “Ce tableau a été assigné à la galerie du Château de Salzburg où il est resté jusqu’en 1933, lorsqu’il a été vendu,” which corroborates information received in 2014 from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna; see Lionello Venturi, 1 September 1937, File C10073 (2014.82), Clowes Registration Archive, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. ↩︎
This painting is also listed, as stock number 14.203, in the Stock Catalogues of Seligmann’s Paris office, see Box 288, Folder 8 (Stock Catalogs, Paris office), Jacques Seligmann & Co. Records, Archives of American Art. With thanks to Victoria Reed, Sadler Curator for Provenance, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for providing this reference. ↩︎
Silberman’s possession of this painting is documented in the Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive Records, see Bib Record Number b1492909 in Frick Digital Collections. Here it states that a verbal communication on 11 April 1939 from Dr. E. Tietze-Conrat notes that the painting was currently with the E. and A. Silberman Gallery. Many years later, and likely in error but repeated by others, Silberman recalled that the painting was formerly in the collection of the Princess Thurn and Taxis; see Letter from Allen W. Clowes to David Carter, 28 May 1959, Correspondence Files, Clowes Registration Archive, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. ↩︎
The painting was first exhibited in the United States under Clowes’s ownership in 1940; see Hans Tietze, Four Centuries of Venetian Painting, exh. cat. (Toledo, OH: Toledo Museum of Art, 1940), no. 56. ↩︎