The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes

Artist: Jacopo Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti) (Italian, Venice 1518/19–1594 Venice)

Date: ca. 1545–50

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 61 x 160 1/2 in. (154.9 x 407.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Francis L. Leland Fund, 1913

Accession Number: 13.75


This painting depicts one of two miracles during which Christ fed a large multitude with a few loaves and fishes; here he hands Saint Andrew one platter of each to be distributed. With its exaggerated horizontal composition the painting must have been commissioned for a typical deep lateral wall of a chapel in Venice, where it would have hung across from a companion painting of "Christ Washing the Feet of the Disciples" (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto). The subjects of both works relate to the sacrament of the Eucharist. Designed by Tintoretto about 1545–50, like many of his larger works it was executed in part by the artist and in part by members of his workshop.