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El Greco

Greek: Δομηνικος Θεοτοκοπουλος
Who: Painter, Sculptor and Architect.
Birth Name: Domenikos Theotokopoulos
Born: 1541 (Kingdom of Candia, modern day Crete)
Died: 1614 (Aged 72)

The disrobing of Christ by El Greco.

The disrobing of Christ by El Greco.

El Greco was one of the greatest painters of the Spanish Renaissance. He was known as “El Greco”(The Greek), a reference to his Greek origin, and even signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters; Δομηνικος Θεοτοκοπουλος. He was born in Crete, which was the centre of Post-Byzantine art and also part of the Republic of Venice. El Greco descended from a wealthy family, his father was a merchant and tax collector, and he received his training as an icon painterat a Cretan school, eventually earning the title of Master by the age of 22.

Wanting to further pursue his career in art he travelled to Venice at the age of 26, as other Greek artists had also done. In 1570 he moved to Rome where he oped a workshop and finished a series of works. While in Italy El Greco enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and of the Venetian Renaissance. Then, at the age of 31, he moved to Toldo, Spain, the religious capital of Spain, where he would live and work until his death. It was there that he created some of his most renowned pieces of work.

During his time El Greco’s work of art was very much different from the norm. His work married Byzantine traditions with Western paintings and were painted as dramatic and expressionistic that was often met with puzzlement by his contemporaries. It wasn’t until the 20th century that his work would truly be appreciated. His most popular pieces of work include: The Assumption of the Virgin, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, View of Toledo, The Holy Trinity and Portrait of Jorge Manuel Theotocopoulos.

Toledo, Spain: The Art of El Greco:

El Greco – The Movie (2007):

 

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