Titian's magnificent pictures in the Ducal Palace were, all but one, destroyed by fire the year after his death; but his impetuous rival, Tintoretto, is abundantly represented there. With regard to him, as usual, our admiration for frequent manifestations of extraordinary power is but too commonly checked and chilled by coarse, heavy painting, and the unexpressive wholly uninteresting character of many of his allegorical or celestial groups, which seem introduced merely as exercises or exhibitions of technical skill, rather than as appeals to our imagination or finer feelings.... On the whole you are again tempted to be somewhat out of conceit with Tintoretto, till you pause in the Ante Collegio, or guard-room, before a picture of his so poetically conceived and admirably wrought, indeed so pleasing in all respects, that you wonder still more at the dull, uninteresting character of so many of the others. Yes, here Il Furioso Tintoretto, leaving ostentatious, barren displays of technical power, has once again had the gentleness and patience to make himself thoroughly agreeable. Ariadne, a beautiful and noble figure, is seated undraped on a rock, and Bacchus, profusely crowned with ivy, advances from the sea, and offers her the nuptial ring; whilst above, Venus, her back towards you, lying horizontally in the pale blue air, as if the blue air were her natural couch, spreads or rather kindles, a chaplet or circlet of stars round Ariadne's head. Here, those who luxuriate in what is typical, may tell us, and probably not without truth, that Tintoretto wished to convey a graceful hint of Venice crowned by beauty and blessed with joy and abundance. Bacchus arising from the sea well signifies these latter gifts, and the watery path by which they come to her; and the lonely island nymph to whom he presents the wedding-ring, may be intended to refer to the situation and original forlornness of Venice herself, when she sat in solitude amidst the sandy isles of the lagune, aloof from her parental shores, ravaged by the Hun or the Lombard. The pale yellow sunshine on these nude figures and their light transparent shadows, and the mild temperate blue of the calm sea and air, almost completing the most simple arrangement of the colouring of the picture, are still beautiful, and no doubt were far more so before its lamentable fading, occasioned, it seems, by too much exposure to light; you feel quite out of doors, all on the airy cliffs, as you look on it, and almost taste the very freshness of the sea-breeze.

The Art Journal (London, 1857).