El Greco

By: Grant Mangan


El Greco or Domenikos Theotokopoulos was born in Candia, Crete (located in Greece) in the year 1541. He then moved to Florence, Italy where he studied under Titian who was a famous Italian painter. Then in the year 1577 he moved to Madrid, Spain where he spent the majority of his life. El Greco enjoyed Greek, Latin, Italian, and Spanish literature. He created paintings, sculptures, and architecture including the paintings: View of Toledo, The Disrobing of Christ, and The Vision of Saint John.
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Christ Carrying the Cross

This piece was created in 1580 and can be found today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is oil on canvas and measures 105cm x 79cm. This picture in particular is very important due to the fact that it shows Christ embracing the fact that he is going to die for everyone else. It is also significant because if you look relatively close into Christ's eyes you can see that he is looking at the sky which probably means that he is looking at heaven. I think that by El Greco adding these details he was showing Secularism, because he showed that Jesus was embracing the cross and looking towards the heavens due to the fact that he was a religious man, and I think that El Greco painted this to show how powerful religion is and was. This power that Jesus and God held could exponentially exceed the power that the church alone had and that's why El Greco painted it, to show the power that religion held. I chose to use this Image though because I thought that it was interesting that he decided to have Jesus embracing the cross. This showed to me that El Greco believed that Jesus died for us and our sins and he embraced death because he loves us. I also found the detail of the eyes looking toward the heavens interesting because it showed how much El Greco believed in heaven and religion.


"El Greco." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

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