El Greco

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Elgreco.christ.500pix.jpg
Baptism of Christ, painted 1596–1600

El Greco (1541April 7, 1614), a Greek painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish school, is best known.

He was a master painter in Crete, where he was born, and first trained as an icon painter. At the age of twenty-six, he journeyed to Venice and to Rome where he studied under Titian. In 1577 he emigrated to Toledo — at the time the ecclesiastical capital of Spain — where he produced his mature works, and led a successful career as a painter of altarpieces and portraits. Many of El Greco's works are on display at Madrid's Museo del Prado.

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Greco_Trinity.jpg
Holy Trinity, 1577 (Museo del Prado, Madrid)

After his death, El Greco's work fell into relative obscurity. It was not until the late nineteenth century that artists and critics renewed interest in his highly individual manner of expression. El Greco's liberation of form, light and colour inspired artists such as Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock in their efforts to transform the art of painting of the 20th century.

"El Greco sought to convey the essential or universal meaning of the subject through a process of redefinition and reduction. In Toledo, he accomplished this by abandoning the Renaissance emphasis on the observation and selection of natural phenomena. Instead he responded to Byzantine and sixteenth-century Mannerist art in which images are cenceived in the mind. Space is perceived in the imagination rather than misused; light is incandescent, fitful and unreal; colours are pure, luminous and unearthly; figures are elongated, energised and dematerialised. All are illuminated and quickened by God's Grace." —David Davies

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Trivia

Greek composer Vangelis Papathanassiou (born March 29, 1943) published a symphonic album in 1998 called El Greco, inspired by and dedicated to Domenikos Theotokopoulos.

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