Save Venice Celebrates Tintoretto’s 500th birthday

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A view of the gondoliers from the terrace of Hotel Monaco in Venice.

Tintoretto, the Venetian master, wouldn’t roll over in his grave, he’d burst out of it if he knew of Save Venice’s glorious celebration for the painter’s 500th birthday.

Born in Venice, living and working there all his life, his work is spread over the whole city in museums and churches as well as in exhibits especially mounted for this occasion and funded by Save Venice. In addition, Save Venice has restored 18 of Tintoretto’s dynamic works.

Frederick Ilchmann,
SV’s chairman and a 16th-century Venetian art specialist, along with eight respected art historians, charmed and enlightened guests with talks at various venues including private viewings, happily avoiding the ever-present hordes of tourists.


Frederick Ilchman at the Accadamia.
Piazza San Marco in the rain.
Basilica of San Marco at twilight.
Former San Domenico Library at the Ospedale.
Thomas Dalla Costa discussing the Marriage Feast at Cana in the Church of the Salute.

As if such a feast for the eyes and mind were not enough, guests were treated to sumptuous dinners in glorious rooms like the Ballroom at the Museo Correr, the Palazzo Contarini Polignac and the Sala Capitolare in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco where a troop of actors in exquisite period dress, performed a skit in which “Tintoretto” handed over a golden chain to artist, Jorge Pombo, perhaps tomorrow’s Tintoretto.


Tintoretto’s Self-Portrait as a Young Man, ca. 1548.
Manfred Kuhnert and Belinda Menedez.
John Staelin and Elizabeth Locke.
Anne Fitzpatrick. Karin and Peter Leidel.
Melissa Conn, Save Venice Inc. director of Venice Office points out detail of Tintoretto’s The Nativity, Italian, late 1550s (reworked, 1570s).
Amy Harmon.
Molly Borthwick and Jill Almeida. John Gans and Irina Tolstoy.
Lindsay and Russell Grant with Barbara de Portago.
Cassandra and Frederick Ilchman.
Museo Correr Ballroom.

A fleet of boats took the group to the island of Mazzorbo, to the Michelin starred restaurant Venissa for a lunch of local fish and produce and more than a taste of their unique wine made from “the golden grape of the Doges,” grown right in their own back yard.


Lindsay and Russell Grant.
Between lecture and lunch.
Dining room at Venissa on the island of Mazzorbo.
Venissa’s unique wine @ 150 Euros.
Matthew White.
Jeffrey and Tina Bolton.
Thomas Schumacher and Cat Jagger Pollon with Peter. Jill and Richard Almeida.
Andrew Cabot and Tracey Roberts.
Thomas Schumacher and Matthew White.
Irina Tolstoy and Anne Fitzpatrick.
Gretchen and Dr. Brian Cuddy.

Maybe the most fun of the weekend was the “Renaissance Artist at Work” seminar where would-be Tintorettos learned about pigments and mixing colors, then tried to make their own chalk drawings. Most emerged with a new respect for the artist.


Pigments used by Renaissance painters.
Jorge Pombo. Laura Hodgson.
Frederick Ilchman.
Cat Jagger Pollon.
Sallymoon and Dr. Alan Bentz.
Blue Hodgson learns from a curator.
Jorge Pombo and Frederick Ilchman.

So, mark your calendars for the 600th birthday celebration. With Save Venice in charge, you won’t want to miss it.


Andrew Jones.
Blue and Laura Hodgson and Andrew Jones. Sallymoon and Dr. David Bentz.
Katherine Zock and Adrian Butterworth. Valerie and Harry Cooper.
Charles Tolbert. Barbara and Bruce Berger.
Sala Capitolare at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
Richard and Jill Almeida. Karin Leidel.
Actors in the Tintoretto skit.
Randy Fishburn and Andrew Sands.
“Tintoretto” and Jorge Pombo.
Celebrating Frederick Ilchman.

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