The entire life of famous Renaissance painter, Tintoretto, revolved around a circumscribed area of Cannaregio. It was here that he was born, lived, worked and was buried.
Before circling it on a map or asking someone how to get there, remember that ‘Tintoretto’s district’ doesn’t officially exist in Venice.
During his prolific career, Jacopo Robusti, better known as “il Tintoretto”, received numerous commissions from churches, brotherhoods, the Republic and noble families throughout Venice. Many of his works, which today would be known as “site-specific”, are still housed in Venice, in the places for which they were conceived. For this reason, the whole city can be considered a widespread Tintoretto museum.
However, a fairly circumscribed area, including a handful of streets in the heart of the Cannaregio district, which represents the beginnings and endings of the famous artist’s career, exists. The artist was born here in 1518 at number 3399 of the Fondamenta dei Mori, where he lived until his death in 1594, when he was buried in the church of Madonna dell’Orto, just a few blocks away. Although the 15th-century Gothic building where Tintoretto lived bears a plaque in his memory, it’s off-limits to the public.
However, you can visit the Tintoretto’s Workshop next door, which serves as an atelier for painting, graphics and printing, and also organizes exhibitions, conferences, courses and seminars. From here, just a little further on, a small bridge leads to the church of Madonna dell’Orto, considered one of Venice’s hidden gems, where Jacopo and his family are buried. Tintoretto worked on numerous paintings for the church including the Last Judgment, the Worship of the Golden Calf and the Presentation of the Virgin Mary at the Temple.