El Greco

1541 –April 7, 1614

Life

El Greco was born in Crete in 1541 and died in Toledo, Spain. His real name is Domenikos Theotokopoulos, which became Il Greco, or The Greek, in Venice, and El Greco when he moved to Spain. He trained to paint Byzantine icons in Crete and later was a pupil of Titian. His paintings became a blend of traditional Byzantine art and Renaissance art. El Greco was known for being abrasive and had trouble getting commissions in Italy, where he was known as a portraitist, which is why he moved to Spain. He tried to get the patronage of Philip II of Spain, because he had paid Titian well for religious scenes, mythological scenes, and portraits. El Greco did not succeed due to his way of painting religious scenes with a supernatural feel. El Greco is considered the forefather of the movement cubism.

Isms

  • Idealism - tried to perfect colors in his artwork and would constantly retouch them
  • Humanism - had many human subjects in his paintings and painted religious scenes dynamically as opposed to traditional flat scenes

Citations

El Greco. The Adoration of the Shepherds. n.d. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

"El Greco." Authors and Artists for Young Adults. Vol. 64. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Biography in Context. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

"El Greco." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web.

1 Dec. 2015.

El Greco. Portrait of a Man. 1590-1600. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

El Greco. View of Toledo. n.d. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.