Book Monograph

Tintoretto’s Difference. Deleuze, Diagrammatics and the Problem of Art History.

A provocative account of the pioneering 16th century painter Jacopo Tintoretto, drawing upon the work of the 20th century philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Bringing together philosophical, art historical, art theoretical and art historiographical analysis, Tintoretto’s Difference is the first book-length study in English of Tintoretto for nearly two decades, and the first in-depth exploration of the implications of Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy both for early modern art, and for the discipline of art history.
With a focus on Deleuze’s important concept of the diagram and his philosophy of constructivism, Tintoretto’s Difference invests Tintoretto’s practice in a critical study of art history – its methods, concepts and modes of thought. Setting out with the claim that Tintoretto was not ‘of his time’, it foregrounds a crucial aspect of Tintoretto’s practice – his use of little stage-sets to prepare his compositions. Unprecedented in the history of painting, this idiosyncratic approach invites a rethinking of Tintoretto’s works as diagrammatic and a new way of looking at the history of painting, together with reflection on some of the fundamental dimensions of the scholarly discipline of art history: time, tradition, influence, fact, and context.
Indicating potentials of the diagrammatic for art historical thinking across the registers of semiotics, aesthetics, and time, Tintoretto’s Difference offers at once an innovative study of this seminal artist, an elaboration of Deleuze’s philosophy of the diagram, and a new avenue for a philosophical art history.