Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A 'Nativity' revelation

In the process of restoring it for an upcoming exhibition, the MFA made a surprising discovery. In the Renaissance equivalent of a cut-and-paste job, it appears that Tintoretto changed his mind about the subject, cut the original canvas to rearrange the pieces he didn't like, then - perhaps two decades later - painted over parts of the result to come up with an entirely new composition.

The painting that is now a horizontal nativity was once a vertical crucifixion.

It's a Christmas miracle.