Historical Figures

Marietta Robusti "the Tintoretta", Venetian painter

Venetian painter of the Renaissance, Marietta Robusti (1560? – 1590), nicknamed Tintoretta because daughter of Tintoretto, produced portraits full of talent.

Tintoretto's daughter

The two main sources concerning the life of Marietta Robusti differ on her date of birth:according to the Vita di Jacopo Robusti of the painter and writer Carlo Ridolfi, she was born in 1560; but according to Il Riposo della Pitura e della Scultura by Raffaelo Borghini, she was born on the other hand rather in 1555. Whatever her year of birth, she was born in Venice, which was then capital of the Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia , the Republic of Venice.

Marietta Robusti is the eldest daughter of Faustina Episcopi and the famous painter Jacopo Robusti, better known as Tintoretto , in French Tintoretto. This nickname, which Marietta will inherit in turn, means "the little dyer" and comes to him from his own father, Battista Robusti, who worked in a dry cleaner's; it is of course also an allusion to what was the first contact of the future painter with pigments and color. Faustina Episcopi and Tintoretto will subsequently have seven other children, four girls and three boys.

A confirmed artist

Tintoretto has great affection for his eldest daughter; as a child, Marietta sometimes dresses as a boy so that she can follow her father wherever he goes. Endowed with a lively mind and a good visual memory, she learned drawing, singing, music; she thus learned the harpsichord and the lute. Above all, at a time when the art world was locking its doors tightly to women, Marietta had access to her father's studio. She serves as his apprentice and learns drawing and painting techniques alongside him; as an apprentice, she probably contributed to her father's paintings by working in particular on the backgrounds. She also assisted him in making altarpieces, but her work was never credited.

Having become a confirmed artist, Marietta dedicates herself particularly, for her own works, to the portrait genre. She thus produced the portrait of Marc dei Vescovi, and his son Pierre. Jacob Strada, antiquarian to Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, also had his portrait painted by Marietta and gave it to the emperor. His talent as an artist is known and recognized; Maximilian II, as well as the King of Spain Philip II, expressed their desire to welcome him as a painter to their court. But Tintoretto, not accepting the idea of ​​letting his daughter go away from him, refuses.

Dead prematurely

In 1578, Tintoretto arranged a marriage with a Venetian jeweler, Jacopo Auguta, thus ensuring that his daughter remained nearby. Marietta Robusti “la Tintoretta” died prematurely in childbirth in 1590, at the age of thirty or thirty-six.

Carlo Ridolfi will say of her that she was one of the most illustrious women of her time, possessing the same talent as her father with "a sentimental femininity, a resolute feminine grace".