- Reference number
- Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti
- The Knight with the Golden Chain
- Ca. 1555
- 103,7 cm x 76,7 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Real Alcázar, Madrid, galería del mediodía, 1700, nº 56; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, pieza de comer, 1794, nº 117; Palacio Real, Madrid, pieza de comer, 1814-1818, nº 117).
Tintoretto painted portraits from the beginning of his career, and it was the genre that allowed him to make a place for himself on the competitive Venetian art scene. Unlike Titian, with his elegant distance, Tintoretto rarely idealized his sitters, showing them with the attributes of their social standing, but without hiding the wrinkles on their faces.
For four decades, Tintoretto remained faithful to a few models and formulas. One of the distinctive traits of his portraiture technique is the importance he assigned to the face, which he shaped with brilliant highlights that make it stand out over the dark background.
This is the finest of the Tintoretto portraits at the Prado Museum and one of the most outstanding ever painted by that artist. It is probably one of the ones which, according to Palomino, Velázquez acquired in Venice during his second trip to Italy.