Tintoretto’s use of space reminds me of Caravaggio’s use of light, its excessively theatrical. It is interesting that Tintoretto should chose an almost square format in which to create, through the use of architecture, an incredibley deep recessive hole. Rather than being a perverse challenge, its as if he wants the power of the depth, without provide total distraction from the central drama in the foreground. Logically we are aware of this deep impression of space, but the square squeezes the life from it, so pulling our eyes, or keeping them locked to, the foreground action.
On the left a quite brilliant figural arrangement takes place. One figure stands tall and flat to the picture plane. The other lies flat, horizontal, and pierces the picture plane with the kind of foreshortening of a man trying to out do Michelangelo at his own game.