Mark Pulsford has spent more than one hundred hours 'in the presence of Tintoretto', that is to say in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, making his own images in response to the great works of Jacopo Tintoretto, who in the sixteenth century discovered a new way of painting, producing oil-on-canvas images which were both monumental in scale and vibrantly expressive. Such 'living painting' was unknown before and has never been surpassed in the four and a half centuries since the days of Tintoretto's brilliance.
This study of Tintoretto through the eye of a modern-day artist is an incomplete meditation. It was conceived as the research for a lecture on the subject of transcription – it was intended to help students understand that, as part of their search to find their own voice, for their ideographic, they should search the masterworks of the past for inspiration, enlightenment and cultural grounding.
A short note should be appended that Pulsford's take on Tintoretto's narrative of faith, being by definition non-religious, often reveals an unambiguous humanism easily adjustable to modernity – refugees (the Flight into Egypt); the terrorizing and butchery of children and other non-combatants (the Massacre of the Innocents); the judicial murder of dissidents (the Crucifixion); all are constants, ever-present in our world.
Thirty of Pulsford's studies were exhibited at Summerhall in Edinburgh in May/June 2018, and a lecture and exhibition of his exploration of Tintorettois to be realised as part of RAP 2022 in Rome – Continuing research in Venice, lectures and further exhibitions are planned for the future.