The above is another copy of a Tintoretto drawing located in the Museum of Budapest and is titled “Two Studies after the so-called “Atlas” Statuette.” In the description section under the drawing, it states “This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.” So what does that mean? As I’ve mentioned in a couple of other blog posts, sometimes a work of art is found to be by another lesser-known artist. It can create quite a brouhaha. So the original drawing might have been done by one of Tintoretto’s students or assistants. Or perhaps a follower of Tintoretto or maybe even ‘gasp’ a forger with a desceptive motive. Wow, things are really heating up, aren’t they? Who knows maybe by the time you read this we might find out what the museum staff discovered. Until then we will talk about the subject of the drawing.
The following information about the myth of Atlas was borrowed or taken from classicalwisdom.com
The story of Atlas may have been founded on a Pelasgian myth, a tale associated with the original residents of Greece. Atlas was extremely powerful and had a brother named Prometheus. I wrote about Prometheus in a previous post, I hope you were paying attention. Atlas was one of Zeus’ greatest rivals and Zeus was kind of a big deal. Zeus along with the rest of the Olympians greatly feared Titan and his fellow Titans. In the end, the Olympians prevailed and conquered the Titans. The other Titans were incarcerated by Zeus in Tartarus, which is the name for hell. Since the Olympians feared and hated Atlas, they devised a special punishment for him. Atlas was sentenced to stand at the western end of the earth. He was then forced to carry the sky on his shoulders forever. According to my research, forever is a very long time. Atlas suffered a great deal because he had to bear such a hefty load. Over the centuries, a misconception emerged that he was destined to hold up the entire world. This is probably a result of artworks created during the Renaissance that misinterpreted the original myths. The Greeks believed Atlas held up the sky over what is now the country of Morocco.
Here we have a Prismacolor® pencil drawing of a young man copied from a drawing of a young man drawn by Jacopo Tintoretto. Prismacolor® makes 150 different colors. I used only black and white. Why am I mentioning this? I really thought if I started writing I would be able to come up with something funny to say. As you can see, that did not happen. I realize the style of the drawing makes the young man look like a bag of walnuts but if you see the original, it kind of looks like that. It is in the collection of the governing body of Christ Church in Oxford, United Kingdom. I could not find an image of the drawing on their site. Since I am not part of the governing body, there isn’t a whole lot I can do. Here is a link to another Tintoretto drawing so you can see his style. I thought I would consult the World History Encyclopedia to find out about this exceptional artist.
These models were then placed inside a box.
The following information on Tintoretto was taken, borrowed, and perhaps stolen from the World History Encyclopedia. Tintoretto’s real name was Jacopo Robusti, and he was born in Venice in 1518. He began his career as an artist creating unassuming works such as decorated furniture and frescoes on exterior walls. It was, however, his large paintings that would make him famous. It has been said that his work combines the drawing style of Michelangelo along with Titian’s use of color. In his drawings and paintings, Tintoretto created muscular figures posed in unusual positions. Mannerism would be the name given to this technique. In the 17th century, the Mannerist style would become a major influence on artists. Tintoretto’s artistic style is also defined by his light source. He would create areas of shadow and color that are distinctive and dramatic. As part of the process of creating his work, the artist would first construct small wax models of human figures. These models were then placed inside a box. It was then possible to organize the models and use an artificial light source to illuminate them. As a result, different and unique effects of light and shadow would be created. Although today Tintoretto is considered a great Italian Master, throughout his career, he was criticized for his rapid pace and lack of finish in his art.