The abduction of the body of Saint Mark

Tintoretto - 1562/1566
oil on canavas - 398x315 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

In the foreground the corps of St. Mark is getting abducted by four christians which are holding him horizontally. Behind them, there's a dromedary and a man liying on the ground while he is taking it bound by the muzzle. On the background, there is a portico where we can see, around the square, many different architectural styles developing deeply in the space with a rich flooring probably inspired by restoration of St. Mark's square by Sansovino. The importance given to the perspective is evident, the vanishing point is underlined by the disposition of the architectures.

The choice of the colors is flat and the shadows are simply hinted: the tones are darker in the nearest characters while they are making the second plan's characters almost transparent. The sky behind the bell tower is full of clouds because of the storm and it is characterized by a reddish tone, in contrast with the black clouds.

This work is one of three with "The discovery of the body of St. Mark" and "The slave miracle" made for Scuola Grande di San Marco.

It is a sacre scene in which the Christians of Alexandria of Egipt at the advance of the storm, steal the body of the martyred saint from the fire where the pagans had intended him to an to allow honorary burial. Between the lightning the crowd is distracted by the building on the left, leaving the square free. It is possible to notice, behind St. Mark, Tommaso Rangone with beard and white hair.