Moses Striking the Rock, Tintoretto
Tintoretto
Moses Striking the Rock
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Tintoretto

Moses Striking the Rock, ca. 1555 – 1570


Dimensions
118.0 x 182.0 cm
Physical Description
Canvas
Inventory Number
1521
Acquisition
Acquired in 1914 with funds provided by Carl Schaub-Stiftung
Status
Not exhibited

Texts

About the Work

Together with Titian and Veronese, Tintoretto helped to shape Venetian painting of the sixteenth century. What they all had in common was their use of colour as the means of determining the effect created by a picture. They contrasted the "disegno" preferred by Giorgio Vasari - the refined drawing which allowed compositions to be formed using lines and outlines - with the ideal of "colore" in all its materiality. Tintoretto chose a visible, light and yet pastose application of paint that was highly nuanced. His descriptive nickname, "little dyer", may have referred not only to his father's profession, but also to a story from the Old Testament (Numbers 20:11) in which Moses, dressed in dark red, makes water gush out of a rock. In their longing for water, the figures in the foreground, depicted realistically and in depth by the artist, represent the people of Israel, exhausted by their wandering through the wilderness and railing against their fate. The dating of the picture is uncertain. As regards composition, it resembles the considerably broader 'Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes' (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), a context which strengthens the interpretation of the scene as a typological prefiguration of Christ as the living source.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Moses Striking the Rock
Painter
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Canvas
Material
Technique

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum
Acquisition
Acquired in 1914 with funds provided by Carl Schaub-Stiftung

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions
Illustrated Passage
  • Bibel, Altes Testament, Exodus 17,6
  • Bibel, Altes Testament, Numeri 20,10-11

Iconclass

Primary
  • 71E1263 Moses strikes the rock twice in front of the assembled people and water gushes out; the people quench their thirst
Secondary

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Last import

31.01.2019