El Greco  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Not many writers on art have seen fit to pay particular attention to El Greco. A few Spaniards, Señor Beruete heading them; Max Boehm, Carl Justi (in his Diego Velasquez); Paul Lafond, William Ritter, Arthur Symons, William Stirling, Signor Venturi, Louis Viardot, Wyzewa, Havelock Ellis, and the inimitable Théophile Gautier--whose Travels in Spain, though published in 1840, is, as Mr. Ellis truthfully remarks, still a storehouse of original exploration. But the Cossio work, naturally, tops them all. He is an adorer, though not fanatical, of his hero, and it is safe to assert that all that is known to-day of El Greco will be found in these pages. The origins of the painter, his visit to Italy, his arrival at Toledo, are described with references to original documents--few as they are." --Promenades of an Impressionist (1910) by James Huneker

"In the great sacristy, near the smaller one, there is a Christ on the Cross by Domenico Theotokopouli, called el Greco an extravagant and erratic painter, whose work might be mistaken for sketches by Titian, did not a certain affectation of sharp, carelessly painted forms betray him very quickly. In order to give his paintings the appearance of being very boldly painted, he has daubed here and there, with incredible petulance and brutality, thin, sharp lights, which traverse the shadows like sword-cuts. All the same, el Greco is a great painter; the good works in his second manner resemble Romanticist paintings by Eugene Delacroix."--Travels in Spain (1843) by Theophile Gautier

Related e



El Greco ("The Greek"), was a Greek painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" was a nickname, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος.

El Greco was born in the Kingdom of Candia (modern Crete), which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, Italy, and the center of Post-Byzantine art. He trained and became a master within that tradition before traveling at age 26 to Venice, as other Greek artists had done. In 1570, he moved to Rome, where he opened a workshop and executed a series of works. During his stay in Italy, El Greco enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and of the Venetian Renaissance taken from a number of great artists of the time, notably Tintoretto. In 1577, he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until his death. In Toledo, El Greco received several major commissions and produced his best-known paintings, such as View of Toledo and Opening of the Fifth Seal.

El Greco's dramatic and expressionistic style was met with puzzlement by his contemporaries but found appreciation by the 20th century. El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, while his personality and works were a source of inspiration for poets and writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikos Kazantzakis. El Greco has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school. He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "El Greco" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools