Featuring and narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, Tintoretto: A Rebel in Venice tells the story of the painter Jacopo Robusti (1519-1594), the only great Renaissance artist to never leave Venice (even during the plague years) who earned the moniker of Tintoretto, or the Little Dyer, thanks to his father’s profession.
Through the life of the painter, the film outlines the socio-political context of 16th century Venice. It was a culturally flourishing century, during which other giants of the art world also played a leading role, such as Titian and Veronese, Tintoretto’s eternal rivals. At that time, the Serenissima Republic was confirming its maritime supremacy by becoming one of the most powerful merchant ports in Europe and facing the tragic plague of 1575-77, which wiped out most of the population, and left an indelible mark in the Lagoon.
The documentary also closely observes the thorough and complex analysis carried out by an Italian team of experts in order to restore two of Tintoretto's masterpieces: "Mary in meditation" (1582 - 1583) and "Mary reading" (1582 – 1583). The two pieces have been restored in time to be exhibited as part of the monographic exhibition on Tintoretto taking place at the National Gallery of Art in Washington to celebrate the 500th of his birth in 2019.
Tintoretto is in almost every museum in the world and yet it is only in Venice that one can understand and love him. Tintoretto is the true mirror of Venice. In life and work, he reflects the spirit of the lagoon city. He’s a one of a kind genius: open-minded, restless, brave and with a strong love for freedom - unstable and elusive, just like Venice.