TINTORETTO – Reinstate the title ‘APOLLO AND THE MUSES’.
I was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in the 1970/1980’s,
familiar with Durer’s constellation chart 1515AD and Sir William Peck’s
picture chart from ‘Observer’s Atlas of the Heavens’, New Patterns in the
Sky by Staal and Star Tales by Ridpath.
Tintoretto painted ceilings and sky myths.
a) Has anyone considered the ancient astronomical viewpoint?
b) Why did he have to hide his message?
1473 -1543 AD. COPERNICUS said the Earth goes round the Sun.
1518 -1594 AD. TINTORETTO hid this new message.
1564 -1642 AD. GALILEO under house arrest until his death.
This painting has 3 parts.
Ia) The ‘giveaway’ is the myth of the constellation CASSIOPEA (bottom
left), a vain Queen, with mirror not book. Her sacrificed daughter
ANDROMEDA with clutching hand, culminates in OCTOBER.
With them the young Medusa/gorgon/PEGASUS culminates in
1b) The constellations of the Summer Triangle are represented by three of
the Muses as Apollo’s Lyre, Swan, and Eagle in the bottom right of the
At the top Apollo exchanges his Caducus for Hermes Lyre. LYRA the
Harp culminates in JUNE. At the bottom CYGNUS the Swan culminates
in AUGUST. The arm and hand of the Muse follows the neck and head of
the Swan, her body replaces the wings, and the cornucopia the tail. (Well
hidden Tintoretto.) AQUILA the Eagle, culminating in JULY, is brought
in from the far reaches, and tucked in between June and August. (Does
she have furled wings in her headdress?)
Apollo was connected with prophesy, the course of the year,
arrangement of the seasons and becomes the orderer of time.
II) The New Heliocentric System. (Prohibited by the Church).
The constellation Hercules should lie above Lyra. ‘The twelve Labours of
Hercules’ follows the path of the sun throughout the year. But Hercules
‘the Sun’ has now been transported outside the ancient sky picture.
III) The Apollo/Python/Draco myth, precession, and more, also depicted
Tintoretto was a brilliant artist, risking his life to record these new ideas.
BE REINSTATED as a contemporary record of the impact of 16th cent