Nikos Hadjinikolaou states that from 1570 El Greco's painting is "neither Byzantine nor post-Byzantine but Western European. , By the time El Greco arrived in Rome, Michelangelo and Raphael were dead, but their example continued to be paramount, and somewhat overwhelming for young painters. , Because of his unconventional artistic beliefs (such as his dismissal of Michelangelo's technique) and personality, El Greco soon acquired enemies in Rome.  In Rome, El Greco had earned the respect of some intellectuals, but was also facing the hostility of certain art critics. El Greco is now seen as an artist with a formative training on Crete; a series of works illuminate his early style, some painted while he was still on Crete, some from his period in Venice, and some from his subsequent stay in Rome. " In 1585, he appears to have hired an assistant, Italian painter Francisco Preboste, and to have established a workshop capable of producing altar frames and statues as well as paintings.  El Greco's preference for exceptionally tall and slender figures and elongated compositions, which served both his expressive purposes and aesthetic principles, led him to disregard the laws of nature and elongate his compositions to ever greater extents, particularly when they were destined for altarpieces. Wethey says that "by such simple means, the artist created a memorable characterization that places him in the highest rank as a portraitist, along with Titian and Rembrandt". ^ Theotokópoulos acquired the name "El Greco" in Italy, where the custom of identifying a man by designating a country or city of origin was a common practice.  On the other hand, the public and the critics would not possess the ideological criteria of Gautier and would retain the image of El Greco as a "mad painter" and, therefore, his "maddest" paintings were not admired but considered to be historical documents proving his "madness". El Greco was sitting in a darkened room, because he found the darkness more conducive to thought than the light of the day, which disturbed his "inner light". The ophthalmologists August Goldschmidt and Germán Beritens argued that El Greco painted such elongated human figures because he had vision problems (possibly progressive astigmatism or strabismus) that made him see bodies longer than they were, and at an angle to the perpendicular;[l] the physician Arturo Perera, however, attributed this style to the use of marijuana. However, the king did not like these works and placed the St Maurice altarpiece in the chapter-house rather than the intended chapel.  He left for Venice a few years later, and never returned to Crete. Late 17th- and early 18th-century Spanish commentators praised his skill but criticized his antinaturalistic style and his complex iconography. These ideas were, however, far too extreme for the architectural circles of his era and had no immediate resonance.. Fry described El Greco as "an old master who is not merely modern, but actually appears a good many steps ahead of us, turning back to show us the way".  Even Wethey accepted that "he [El Greco] probably had painted the little and much disputed triptych in the Galleria Estense at Modena before he left Crete". The curious form of the article (El) may be from the Venetian dialect or more likely from the Spanish, though in Spanish his name would be "El Griego". This doubtful attribution is based on the testimony of Pacheco (he saw in El Greco's studio a series of figurines, but these may have been merely models). It is not confirmed whether he lived with his Spanish female companion, Jerónima de Las Cuevas, whom he probably never married. He lived in considerable style, sometimes employing musicians to play whilst he dined. , During the course of the execution of a commission for the Hospital de Tavera, El Greco fell seriously ill, and a month later, on 7 April 1614, he died. One of his uncles was an Orthodox priest, and his name is not mentioned in the Catholic archival baptismal records on Crete.  Menegos is the Venetian dialect form of Doménicos, and Sgourafos (σγουράφος=ζωγράφος) is a Greek term for painter.  El Greco's older brother, Manoússos Theotokópoulos (1531–1604), was a wealthy merchant and spent the last years of his life (1603–1604) in El Greco's Toledo home. , The decade 1597 to 1607 was a period of intense activity for El Greco. Surviving contracts mention him as the tenant from 1585 onwards of a complex consisting of three apartments and twenty-four rooms which belonged to the Marquis de Villena.  The same year Julius Meier-Graefe, a scholar of French Impressionism, traveled in Spain, expecting to study Velásquez, but instead becoming fascinated by El Greco; he recorded his experiences in Spanische Reise (Spanish Journey, published in English in 1926), the book which widely established El Greco as a great painter of the past "outside a somewhat narrow circle". Some of these commentators, such as Antonio Palomino and Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez, described his mature work as "contemptible", "ridiculous" and "worthy of scorn". D. Davies, "The Influence of Neo-Platonism on El Greco", 20 etc. , a. , i. This album is an expansion of an earlier album by Vangelis, Foros Timis Ston Greco (A Tribute to El Greco, Φόρος Τιμής Στον Γκρέκο).  Comparative morphological analyses of the two painters revealed their common elements, such as the distortion of the human body, the reddish and (in appearance only) unworked backgrounds and the similarities in the rendering of space.  Only his son and a few unknown painters produced weak copies of his works. A significant innovation of El Greco's mature works is the interweaving between form and space; a reciprocal relationship is developed between the two which completely unifies the painting surface. As his own commentaries indicate, El Greco viewed Titian, Michelangelo and Raphael as models to emulate. But his structure is Cubist.".  On 6 July 1572, El Greco officially complained about this event.  Stuart Anstis, Professor at the University of California (Department of Psychology), concludes that "even if El Greco were astigmatic, he would have adapted to it, and his figures, whether drawn from memory or life, would have had normal proportions. El Greco was born in the Kingdom of Candia (modern Crete), which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, and the center of Post-Byzantine art.  In El Greco's work, Meier-Graefe found foreshadowing of modernity. , — Picasso, speaking of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon to Dor de la Souchère in Antibes. , Since 1962, the discovery of the Dormition and the extensive archival research has gradually convinced scholars that Wethey's assessments were not entirely correct, and that his catalogue decisions may have distorted the perception of the whole nature of El Greco's origins, development and œuvre.  The strong spiritual emotion transfers from painting directly to the audience.  In Rome, on the recommendation of Giulio Clovio, El Greco was received as a guest at the Palazzo Farnese, which Cardinal Alessandro Farnese had made a center of the artistic and intellectual life of the city. He also saw Vitruvius' manner of distorting proportions in order to compensate for distance from the eye as responsible for creating monstrous forms. According to Franz Marc, one of the principal painters of the German expressionist movement, "we refer with pleasure and with steadfastness to the case of El Greco, because the glory of this painter is closely tied to the evolution of our new perceptions on art". He also agreed to allow the brotherhood to select the appraisers.  There was consensus that the triptych was indeed an early work of El Greco and, therefore, Pallucchini's publication became the yardstick for attributions to the artist.  To the Blaue Reiter group in Munich in 1912, El Greco typified that mystical inner construction that it was the task of their generation to rediscover.  Nonetheless, according to Achileus A. Kyrou, a prominent Greek journalist of the 20th century, El Greco was born in Fodele and the ruins of his family's house are still extant in the place where old Fodele was (the village later changed location because of pirate raids). , b. She was the mother of his only son, Jorge Manuel, born in 1578, who also became a painter, assisted his father, and continued to repeat his compositions for many years after he inherited the studio.  Therefore, it seems that El Greco traveled to Venice sometime after 27 December 1566. There are also four drawings among the surviving works of El Greco; three of them are preparatory works for the altarpiece of Santo Domingo el Antiguo and the fourth is a study for one of his paintings, The Crucifixion. El Greco has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school.  As a result of his stay in Rome, his works were enriched with elements such as violent perspective vanishing points or strange attitudes struck by the figures with their repeated twisting and turning and tempestuous gestures; all elements of Mannerism. The discovery of the Dormition led to the attribution of three other signed works of "Doménicos" to El Greco (Modena Triptych, St. Luke Painting the Virgin and Child, and The Adoration of the Magi) and then to the acceptance of more works as authentic—some signed, some not (such as The Passion of Christ (Pietà with Angels) painted in 1566),—which were brought into the group of early works of El Greco. He gave no further commissions to El Greco.  He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting. The Adoration of the Magi (1565–1567, 56 × 62 cm, Benaki Museum, Athens).  Jonathan Brown believes that El Greco endeavored to create a sophisticated form of art; according to Nicholas Penny "once in Spain, El Greco was able to create a style of his own—one that disavowed most of the descriptive ambitions of painting". , l. ^ This theory enjoyed surprising popularity during the early years of the twentieth century and was opposed by the German psychologist David Kuntz.  Based on the assessment that his art reflects the religious spirit of Roman Catholic Spain, and on a reference in his last will and testament, where he described himself as a "devout Catholic", some scholars assume that El Greco was part of the vibrant Catholic Cretan minority or that he converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism before leaving the island.  He was buried in the Church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo, aged 73. , El Greco received his initial training as an icon painter of the Cretan school, a leading center of post-Byzantine art.  In 1563, at the age of twenty-two, El Greco was already an enrolled master of the local guild, presumably in charge of his own workshop. , The discovery of the Dormition of the Virgin on Syros, an authentic and signed work from the painter's Cretan period, and the extensive archival research in the early 1960s, contributed to the rekindling and reassessment of these theories.  His expressiveness and colors influenced Eugène Delacroix and Édouard Manet. This may mean he worked in Titian's large studio, or not. In 1908, Spanish art historian Manuel Bartolomé Cossío published the first comprehensive catalogue of El Greco's works; in this book El Greco was presented as the founder of the Spanish School. , His most important architectural achievement was the church and Monastery of Santo Domingo el Antiguo, for which he also executed sculptures and paintings. , In 1570, El Greco moved to Rome, where he executed a series of works strongly marked by his Venetian apprenticeship. In 1577, he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until his death. Clovio reports visiting El Greco on a summer's day while the artist was still in Rome.  By September 1579 he had completed nine paintings for Santo Domingo, including The Trinity and The Assumption of the Virgin.  In any case, Philip's dissatisfaction ended any hopes of royal patronage El Greco may have had. , This article is about the artist of the Spanish Renaissance.  Nevertheless, disputes over the exact number of El Greco's authentic works remain unresolved, and the status of Wethey's catalogue raisonné is at the center of these disagreements.  According to Brown, "Cézanne and El Greco are spiritual brothers despite the centuries which separate them". , El Greco's personality and work were a source of inspiration for poet Rainer Maria Rilke. View the profiles of people named Domenico Greci.  The first painter who appears to have noticed the structural code in the morphology of the mature El Greco was Paul Cézanne, one of the forerunners of Cubism. In addition to painting, he probably studied the classics of ancient Greece, and perhaps the Latin classics also; he left a "working library" of 130 volumes at his death, including the Bible in Greek and an annotated Vasari book. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, Collector Is Vindicated as Icon is Hailed as El Greco, "The baptism of Christ: New light on early El Greco", Seeing The Art Of El Greco As Never Before, Greece buys unique El Greco for 1.2 million dollars, Getting in Touch With That Inner El Greco.  He singled out Correggio and Parmigianino for particular praise, but he did not hesitate to dismiss Michelangelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel;[g] he extended an offer to Pope Pius V to paint over the whole work in accord with the new and stricter Catholic thinking. The extensive archival research conducted since the early 1960s by scholars, such as Nikolaos Panayotakis, Pandelis Prevelakis and Maria Constantoudaki, indicates strongly that El Greco's family and ancestors were Greek Orthodox.  Candia was a center for artistic activity where Eastern and Western cultures co-existed harmoniously, where around two hundred painters were active during the 16th century, and had organized a painters' guild, based on the Italian model. That fact has puzzled researchers, because he mentioned her in various documents, including his last testament.  Epitomizing the consensus of El Greco's impact, Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, said in April 1980 that El Greco was "the most extraordinary painter that ever came along back then" and that he was "maybe three or four centuries ahead of his time". To the English artist and critic Roger Fry in 1920, El Greco was the archetypal genius who did as he thought best "with complete indifference to what effect the right expression might have on the public". According to Pacheco, El Greco's perturbed, violent and at times seemingly careless-in-execution art was due to a studied effort to acquire a freedom of style.  In making this judgement, Lambraki-Plaka disagrees with Oxford University professors Cyril Mango and Elizabeth Jeffreys, who assert that "despite claims to the contrary, the only Byzantine element of his famous paintings was his signature in Greek lettering".  Prevelakis goes even further, expressing his doubt that El Greco was ever a practicing Roman Catholic..  He is also credited with the architectural frames to his own paintings in Toledo.  The relation between Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and the Opening of the Fifth Seal was pinpointed in the early 1980s, when the stylistic similarities and the relationship between the motifs of both works were analysed. [d], Most scholars believe that the Theotokópoulos "family was almost certainly Greek Orthodox", although some Catholic sources still claim him from birth.  Wethey and other scholars rejected the notion that Crete took any part in his formation and supported the elimination of a series of works from El Greco's œuvre. , k. ^ The myth of El Greco's madness came in two versions.  The phrase "sunk in eccentricity", often encountered in such texts, in time developed into "madness".  According to Hortensio Félix Paravicino, a 17th-century Spanish preacher and poet, "Crete gave him life and the painter's craft, Toledo a better homeland, where through Death he began to achieve eternal life. , f. ^ According to archival research in the late 1990s, El Greco was still in Candia at the age of twenty-six.  Indeed, he did manage to secure two important commissions from the monarch: Allegory of the Holy League and Martyrdom of St. Maurice. Waldemar Januszczak (Ed), Techniques of the World’s Great Painters, Chartwell, New Jersey, 1980, pp. Nevertheless, Renoir and Cézanne are masters of impeccable originality because it is not possible to avail yourself of El Greco's language, if in using it, it is not invented again and again, by the user. Fodele natives argue that El Greco probably told everyone in Spain he was from Heraklion because it was the closest known city next to tiny Fodele. El Greco was averse to the very idea of rules in architecture; he believed above all in the freedom of invention and defended novelty, variety, and complexity. Afficher les profils des personnes qui s’appellent Greco Domenico. Pallucchini attributed to El Greco a small triptych in the Galleria Estense at Modena on the basis of a signature on the painting on the back of the central panel on the Modena triptych ("Χείρ Δομήνιχου", Created by the hand of Doménikos). , Modern scholarly research emphasizes the importance of Toledo for the complete development of El Greco's mature style and stresses the painter's ability to adjust his style in accordance with his surroundings. His Dormition of the Virgin, of before 1567 in tempera and gold on panel was probably created near the end of El Greco's Cretan period. This interweaving would re-emerge three centuries later in the works of Cézanne and Picasso. , A few sculptures, including Epimetheus and Pandora, have been attributed to El Greco. , Kysa Johnson used El Greco's paintings of the Immaculate Conception as the compositional framework for some of her works, and the master's anatomical distortions are somewhat reflected in Fritz Chesnut's portraits. El Greco was determined to make his own mark in Rome defending his personal artistic views, ideas and style. He lived in Venice until 1570 and, according to a letter written by his much older friend, the greatest miniaturist of the age, Giulio Clovio, was a "disciple" of Titian, who was by then in his eighties but still vigorous. [f] Knowledge of El Greco's years in Italy is limited. This conscience will be able to stand before the Lord at the Last Judgement and not be judged. Afficher les profils des personnes qui s’appellent Domenico Greco. Most analysts assume that El Greco had married unhappily in his youth and therefore could not legalize another attachment. ^ El Greco signed the contract for the decoration of the high altar of the church of the Hospital of Charity on 18 June 1603. During these years he received several major commissions, and his workshop created pictorial and sculptural ensembles for a variety of religious institutions. , The Symbolists, and Pablo Picasso during his Blue Period, drew on the cold tonality of El Greco, utilizing the anatomy of his ascetic figures. , h. ^ Toledo must have been one of the largest cities in Europe during this period.  By painting portraits of Michelangelo, Titian, Clovio and, presumably, Raphael in one of his works (The Purification of the Temple), El Greco not only expressed his gratitude but also advanced the claim to rival these masters. A few days earlier, on 31 March, he had directed that his son should have the power to make his will. His elongations were an artistic expression, not a visual symptom.  Three years later, in June 1566, as a witness to a contract, he signed his name in Greek as μαΐστρος Μένεγος Θεοτοκόπουλος σγουράφος ("Master Ménegos Theotokópoulos, painter").  Nevertheless, Wethey denied that the Modena triptych had any connection at all with the artist and, in 1962, produced a reactive catalogue raisonné with a greatly reduced corpus of materials. Although following many conventions of the Byzantine icon, aspects of the style certainly show Venetian influence, and the composition, showing the death of Mary, combines the different doctrines of the Orthodox Dormition of the Virgin and the Catholic Assumption of the Virgin. He arrived in Toledo by July 1577, and signed contracts for a group of paintings that was to adorn the church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo and for the renowned El Espolio. , El Greco also excelled as a portraitist, able not only to record a sitter's features but also to convey their character. A Cretan Village that was the Painter's Birthplace, "El Greco Paintings Lead Toward "City of God, "On the Origin and Status of the 'El Greco Fallacy, "Tradition and Originality in El Greco's Work", "A Turning Point in Rilke's Evolution: The Experience of El Greco", "Collector is Vindicated as Icon is Hailed as El Greco", "The Baptism of Christ New Light on Early El Greco", "Film on life of painter El Greco planned, Athens", "Greece buys unique El Greco for 1.2 million dollars, Athens", "El Greco Paintings Lead Toward 'City of God, "Art Review; Getting in Touch With That Inner El Greco", "A Cretan Village that Was the Painter's Birthplace Bridles at a nearby Town's Claim", "Art Review; El Greco, Bearer Of Many Gifts", "Revelations—The first Major British Retrospective of El Greco Has the Power of a Hand Grenade", "Art View; Seeing the Art of El Greco as never before", Portrait of a Cardinal, probably Cardinal Fernando Nino de Guevara, El Greco, L'Esprit nouveau: revue internationale d'esthétique, 1920, The John G. Johnson Collection: A History and Selected Works, Saint Lawrence's Vision of the Madonna and Child, Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Francis, Portrait of Fray Hortensio Félix Paravacino, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=El_Greco&oldid=989023856, Converts to Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy, Articles incorporating a citation from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia with Wikisource reference, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages incorrectly using the quote template, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with KULTURNAV identifiers, Wikipedia articles with RKDartists identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 16 November 2020, at 16:50. El Greco was disdained by the immediate generations after his death because his work was opposed in many respects to the principles of the early baroque style which came to the fore near the beginning of the 17th century and soon supplanted the last surviving traits of the 16th-century Mannerism. He believed that grace is the supreme quest of art, but the painter achieves grace only if he manages to solve the most complex problems with obvious ease. These works would establish the painter's reputation in Toledo. Philip's next experiment, with Federico Zuccari was even less successful. Important for his early biography, El Greco, still in Crete, painted his Dormition of the Virgin near the end of his Cretan period, probably before 1567.  In one of his last articles, Wethey reassessed his previous estimations and accepted that El Greco left Crete in 1567. Directed by Ioannis Smaragdis, the film began shooting in October 2006 on the island of Crete and debuted on the screen one year later; British actor Nick Ashdon was cast to play El Greco. Not even he, himself, was able to exhaust them. In Toledo, El Greco received several major commissions and produced his best-known paintings. View the profiles of people named Domenico Greco.  At the end of that year, El Greco opened his own workshop and hired as assistants the painters Lattanzio Bonastri de Lucignano and Francisco Preboste. ", "I would not be happy to see a beautiful, well-proportioned woman, no matter from which point of view, however extravagant, not only lose her beauty in order to, I would say, increase in size according to the law of vision, but no longer appear beautiful, and, in fact, become monstrous. By 1943, Pollock had completed sixty drawing compositions after El Greco and owned three books on the Cretan master. In the 1890s, Spanish painters living in Paris adopted him as their guide and mentor. As Jonathan Brown notes, "each figure seems to carry its own light within or reflects the light that emanates from an unseen source". , The early Cubist explorations of Picasso were to uncover other aspects in the work of El Greco: structural analysis of his compositions, multi-faced refraction of form, interweaving of form and space, and special effects of highlights. We must look for the Spanish influence in Cézanne. However, Fernández died in 1579; the moment should have been ideal for El Greco. , e. ^ The arguments of these Catholic sources are based on the lack of Orthodox archival baptismal records on Crete and on a relaxed interchange between Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic rites during El Greco's youth.  And thus we are confronted by a paradox: El Greco is said to have reacted most strongly or even condemned Michelangelo, but found it impossible to withstand his influence. According to Picasso, El Greco's structure is Cubist. Nothing is known about his mother or his first wife, also Greek.  The exact reasons for the king's dissatisfaction remain unclear. Pacheco characterized him as "a writer of painting, sculpture and architecture". , El Greco painted many of his paintings on fine canvas and employed a viscous oil medium. A few months later, on 18 September 1572, he paid his dues to the Guild of Saint Luke in Rome as a miniature painter.  His works painted in Italy were influenced by the Venetian Renaissance style of the period, with agile, elongated figures reminiscent of Tintoretto and a chromatic framework that connects him to Titian. From this point of view, it is correct to say that Cubism has a Spanish origin and that I invented Cubism. , The expressionists focused on the expressive distortions of El Greco.  During the 1570s the huge monastery-palace of El Escorial was still under construction and Philip II of Spain was experiencing difficulties in finding good artists for the many large paintings required to decorate it.  The minutes of the commission of The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception (1607–1613), which were composed by the personnel of the municipality, describe El Greco as "one of the greatest men in both this kingdom and outside it".  Jackson Pollock, a major force in the abstract expressionist movement, was also influenced by El Greco. ^ Doña Jerónima de Las Cuevas appears to have outlived El Greco, and, although the master acknowledged both her and his son, he never married her.  The Venetian painters also taught him to organize his multi-figured compositions in landscapes vibrant with atmospheric light.  The Byzantine icon by young Doménicos depicting the Passion of Christ, painted on a gold ground, was appraised and sold on 27 December 1566 in Candia for the agreed price of seventy gold ducats (The panel was valued by two artists; one of them was icon-painter Georgios Klontzas. , j.  French art critics Zacharie Astruc and Paul Lefort helped to promote a widespread revival of interest in his painting.  Candia's claim to him is based on two documents from a trial in 1606, when the painter was 65. He asserts that the philosophies of Platonism and ancient Neo-Platonism, the works of Plotinus and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, the texts of the Church fathers and the liturgy offer the keys to the understanding of El Greco's style. It will judge, because human dignity, purity and valor fill even God with terror ... Art is not submission and rules, but a demon which smashes the moulds ... Greco's inner-archangel's breast had thrust him on savage freedom's single hope, this world's most excellent garret. One valuation was eighty ducats and the other seventy), equal in value to a work by Titian or Tintoretto of that period. 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.  Michelangelo's influence can be seen in later El Greco works such as the Allegory of the Holy League.  Significant scholarly works of the second half of the 20th century devoted to El Greco reappraise many of the interpretations of his work, including his supposed Byzantinism.  Summarizing the ensuing scholarly debate on this issue, José Álvarez Lopera, curator at the Museo del Prado, Madrid, concludes that the presence of "Byzantine memories" is obvious in El Greco's mature works, though there are still some obscure issues concerning his Byzantine origins needing further illumination.