Spanish curator uncovers true name of Tintoretto

The curator of the Prado, the venerable museum in Madrid, says he's uncovered the real name of Renaissance master artist Tintoretto: Comin.

A Spanish art historian says he's discovered the real name of one of Italy's greatest Renaissance painters, Tintoretto.

The artist, who lived between 1518 and 1594, has been widely known by his nickname Tintoretto— derived from the Italian word "tinto" denoting that his father was a dyer.It was also known that his Christian name was Jacopo.

Miguel Falomir, the curator of the venerable Prado museum in Madrid, says he's done two years of research and uncovered Tintoretto's family name: Comin.

Details about the revelation will be presented at a retrospective of Tintoretto at the Prado, opening on Jan. 29.

Falomir told The Art Newspaper — which reports on the visual arts scene around the world —that he followed the trail after seeing an article in a Spanish journal two years ago by Fernando Checa, a former director of the Prado. Checa mentioned an unpublished letter by a 17th-century Spanish aristocrat, which referenced an unknown genealogy of the Tintoretto family.

Falomir located the genealogy and discovered the family's surname was Comin and that they came from Brescia, 170 kilometres west of Venice. Comin translates to the spice "cumin" in the local language.It was previously thought the family came from the town of Lucca.

His discovery may make it possible to trace other archival references to the artist.

The family tree also indicates Jacopo was the eldest of 22 siblings.

Tintoretto's style, with dramatic lighting effects and a sense of perspective in space, earned him a place as a top Renaissance artist. Some of his most notable works include Worship of the Golden Calf, Miracle of the Slave and Crucifixion.

More than 90 per cent of Tintoretto's paintings remain in Venice, many still on the walls of the buildings and churches for which they were originally commissioned.

The Madrid show, featuring 60 paintings and drawings,runs until May 13.