(1541?-1614), was one of the world's great
He was born Domenikos Theotokopulos in Iraklion (Candia), Crete, but did
most of his work in Spain. The Spaniards called him El Greco, the Greek.
El Greco was a master draftsman whose paintings combine courtly elegance
with religious fervor. He intentionally distorted forms to emphasize the
spiritual quality of a figure or event. His saints are ghostly creations
of his imagination. However, his portraits of noblemen are elegant and
In 1559 or 1560, El Greco left Crete to study in Venice with Tintoretto
and other masters. El Greco's mature work is based on the Venetian
version of the style called mannerism. This style is characterized by
graceful lines, elongated and abstract forms, and metallic colors with
white highlights. The style can be seen in the two El Greco paintings
Pietà and Christ Carrying the Cross.
Rome and Spain
Seeking patronage, El Greco went to Rome in 1570 and to Toledo, Spain,
in 1577. King Philip II of Spain disliked his great Marty dom of St.
Maurice and El Greco never gained royal favor. In Toledo, El Greco
created a series of great religious paintings and portraits. He painted
his masterpiece The Burial of Count Orgaz in 1586. In this painting, the
realistic drawing and color of the lower, earthly, portion contrasts
with the abstract forms in the upper, heavenly, section.
His paintings from 1600 until 1614 are almost baroque in composition,
but the distortion of light , space, and form are completely personal.
Such works as Laocoon had a profound influence on the expressionist
painters of the 1900's.
The Greco's works of art
§ " The Miracle of Christ Healing the Blind" 1575 oil on canvas The
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York
§ " Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple" National Gallery at
§ " View of Toledo" 1597 oil on canvas Metropolitan Museum of Art New
§ " Madonna and Child with St. Martina and St. Agnes" 1597-99 National
Gallery of Art at Washington
§ " St. Martin and the Beggar" approx. 1597-99 National Gallery of Art
§ " Saints John the Evangelist and Francis" 1600 oil on canvas Galleria
degli Uffizi Florence
§ " Christ Carrying the Cross" 1600-1605 oil on canvas Museo del Prado
§ " The Saviour" approx. 1604-14 Greco Museum at Toledo
§ " Self-Portrait" approx. 1604 The Metropolitan Museum of Art at New
§ " Fray Hortensio Félix Paravicino" 1609 oil on canvas Museum of Fine
§ " Laocoon" 1610
§ " The Trinity" 1577-79 oil on canvas Museo del Prado Madrid
§ "The Disrobing of Christ" 1583-84 canvas Pinakothek at Munich
§ "Resurrection" approx. 1584-94 Museo del Prado Madrid
§ "St. Louis: King of France" approx. 1586-94 Musée du Louvre Paris
§ "Portrait of a Cardinal" oil on canvas The Metropolitan Museum of Art
§ "Saint Jerome as a Cardinal" oil on canvas Metropolitan Museum of Art
§ "Apostles Peter and Paul" 1587-92 oil on canvas The Hermitage at St.
§ "St. John the Evangelist" approx. 1594-1604 oil on canvas Museo del
§ "St. Anthony of Padua"
§ "St. Veronica"
§ "Portrait of a Lady" approx. 1594-1601 Philadelphia Museum of Art
§ "Holy Family -The Virgin of the Good Milk" approx. 1594-1604 Hospital
of San Juan Bautista Toledo
§ "Agony in the Garden" 1595,oil on canvas Toledo Museum of Art Ohio