Internet Shakespeare Editions



Doge Pietro Loredano. Jacopo Tintoretto. By permission of The National Gallery, Melbourne.

The desire of noble families--and later even the merchant class--to have their homes decorated by art led to a new range of subject matter.

While the Church continued to support the traditions of religious art, the new patrons asked for portraits of themselves and their families; and they wanted illustrations of the kinds of stories they were reading. The result was a renewed emphasis on characterization, a humanist concern with the individual rather than the ideal, and an interest in mythological and naturalistic subjects.

Pietro Loredano, Doge of Venice, was one of many such patrons* of the arts. When his residence was damaged by fire, he engaged Tintoretto* and others to redecorate it; this portrait is one product of that patronage.


  1. A model patron

    One of the most notorious was the astute politician Lorenzo de Medici, who was the patron for Botticelli, Michaelangelo, and others. With the Borgias, he was a model for the politician described in Machiavelli's The Prince.

  2. The painting

    This protrait by Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-94) is one of his more subdued works. He is most noted for his dramatic and emotional paintings, some of them on a huge scale.