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Date: Late 1500s
Medium: Oil on Canvas
An Admiral; Benedetto Soranzo by Jacopo Tintoretto
Three quarter length oil painting of an Admiral, Benedetto Soranzo. In red dress with a cloak lined with white fur. Landscape background, with bird’s-eye view of the port of Alexandria. On canvas in a gilt frame. This portrait is probably by the renowned Venetian artist Jacopo Tintoretto, with workshop assistance. Tintoretto is known for his dramatic, non-naturalistic effects. He was a very prolific painter working for the most important people in Venice and employed a large workshop, including his sons and daughter. The subject of the portrait is believed to be Benedetto Soranzo, a commander in the Venetian navy, depicted in the background. Soranzo was a commander in the famous Battle of Lepanto (1571). The battle is not referred to in the background, suggesting a date prior to 1571. The column indicates the port of Alexandria. In the middle distance is a small kneeling figure of a nun, the scroll under her arm translates ‘anything is possible with faith’.