Σάββατο, 28 Μαΐου 2011

Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) (1541-1614)- The famouns Cretan Painter

Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco)


• The Concert of the Angels, ca 1608-1614
• Oil on canvas , 115 x 217 cm.

Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) was born in 1541 in Venetian-occupied Candia, the present-day Herakleio, in Crete, of well-to-do, Greek Orthodox parents. Along with painting he studied classics. In Candia he painted icons in the style of the post-Byzantine Cretan School, where influences from the Italian Renaissance are apparent. In 1567 he left Candia for Venice, where he studied under the great Venetian painter Titian and became familiar with the art of the Venetian School of the Renaissance, which was characterized by lavish colour. From 1570 to 1577 he lived in Rome. He was a guest at the palace of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, where he met many intellectuals. In 1572 Theotokopoulos enrolled at St. Luke’s Academy. His painting during this period combined the lavish Venetian colour with the spindly dynamic figures of the Roman mannerists. In 1577

El Greco left for Spain, like many Italian artists who went there in order to work on the decoration of the Escorial palace. The King of Spain, Philip II, did not appreciate Theotokopoulos’ art, which was considered somewhat bizarre. El Greco settled permanently in Toledo, the former imperial capital of Spain, which continued to be the religious seat of the country. There the proud Cretan received important commissions and painted many remarkable works such as the Espolio (The Disrobing of Christ), and The Burial of Count Orgaz.

Far from the influence of the Italians and the intrigues of the court, El Greco discovered his inner self and created an art of sublime spirituality, where Byzantium, the Renaissance and Mannerism were fused into an original and unique style. Theotokopoulos died in Toledo in 1614 without ever returning to his homeland. He always signed his works in Greek, using Byzantine characters: «Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος ο Κρης εποίει».

The National Gallery has three original masterpieces by El Greco; the Burial of Christ (1568-1570), one of the most characteristic works from the Venetian period of the artist, and Saint Peter (1600-1607), both recently acquired thanks to contributions coming from allover Greece, as well as the Concert of the Angels (1608-1614), purchased by the Greek state in 1931.

http://www.nationalgallery.gr/site/content.php?sel=546

Source: National Gallery

http://www.museodelprado.es/index.php?id=995&no_cache=1&L=0&cHash=38c550c57c&gbobras%5Badv%5D=0&gbobras%5Bcriterio%5D=1&gbobras%5Bstring%5D=El+Greco


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