This is the finest of the various representations in which this figure of St John the Baptist appears. The attenuated figure, the agitated movement of the sky and the scintillating light on the landscape is characteristic of El Greco's work around 1600. This painting is distinguished from related pictures by the placement of the lamb on the rock - a reference to Christ's sacrifice. The building in the landscape background was identifies as the Escorial.
A similar representation of St John the Baptist is in another painting in the Church of the Jesuits in Toledo, depicting St John the Evangelist and St John the Baptist together.
The Last Supper is on the wall of the Sala Superiore.
Tintoretto's capacity to always give a new, different interpretation to one of the best loved and most repeated themes of his figurative repertoire is remarkable. In the foreground two large figures of poor people at the sides of the restless dog are crouching on the steps. Beyond them the two-coloured check marble floor which rises towards the kitchen area in a steep and oblique perspective flight, is cut across diagonally from the right by the very long table against the shadowed wall which marks the limits of the rooms. Along the table the figures rapidly and proportionally get smaller.
The apostles are caught by two sources of light, one coming from the foreground and a second one which spreads from the passage in the background on the right, and they are highlighted by chiaroscuro in a tumult of spiritual poses and attitudes which spread along the table with vivid dramatic force only to quieten down in the figure of Christ. His is the smallest figure even though he is immediately recognizable by the dazzling halo. He has just aroused many emotions by introducing the sacrament of Holy Communion and by announcing his betrayal by one of the Apostles.
The manna that fell from heaven has now descended from the ceiling to be transformed into the wafer offered to a slightly aloof, muted Peter. John has almost disappeared behind Christ, crushed under the weight of his dejection. Some diners, however, are happy with any bread at all, or perhaps just crumbs.
The predella (now separated) of the St Peter Martyr Altarpiece depicts the Dead Christ with six saints, five of whom female. It was addressed specifically to the sisters who knelt before it in prayer. The holy women on the predella served as models for the piety of the sisters.
Tintoretto sketched the two oriental figures engaged in discussion on the canvas in only a few minutes. Their anatomy and gestures, their garments and the folds of the drapery, are all abbreviated forms. This pictorial shorthand, based on decades of practice, was exaggerated into a mannerism by some less expert assistants and imitators of Tintoretto, who populated the backgrounds of their pictures with entire ghostly choruses.
In portraiture, as in other areas of painting, the tradition established by Bellini was transformed in the first decade of the sixteenth century by Giorgione. In contrast to the reserved formality of most fifteenth-century portraits, Giorgione introduced a new quality of soulfulness and intimacy into portraiture. He also expanded its expressive range by introducing motifs and compositional devices associated with other types of picture, so that in some cases it becomes difficult to decide whether or not a portrait-like image is meant to represent a real person. His younger contemporaries continued to explore the possibilities that he opened up for portraiture and related images for at least a decade after his death.
The colours of this brilliant portrait are unfortunately faded due to an overcleaning before 1939.
This canvas belongs to a series of eleven paintings executed after Monet's stays in London. The Parliament building is viewed from a window of St. Thomas's Hospital located on the opposite shore of the Thames. The main subject of the series is light and atmospheric variations.