El Greco ( Spanish el 'der', Italian Greco 'Greek'; * 1541 in Candia on Crete , † April 7, 1614 in Toledo ); actually Domínikos Theotokópoulos , ( Greek Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος ) was a painter of Greek origin and main master of Spanish Mannerism and the late Renaissance . He was also active as a sculptor and architect . His artistic work began in Crete with training as an icon painter in the Byzantine tradition. He moved to Venice and came into contact with the art of Titian before he settled in Rome . Then El Greco came to Spain in an unexplained way and moved to Toledo. Despite some conflicts he was able to assert himself there and stayed until the end of his life.
El Greco mainly painted pictures with religious subjects and portraits . There are also a few landscapes and genre pictures . In Venice and Rome he adapted western visual themes and artistic techniques. So he turned to oil painting and canvases as a painting surface . Towards the end of his stay in Italy, El Greco found a strong physicality in his characters, which continued in Spain. There he worked on large altar projects and made portraits of influential people. El Greco often designed the architectural framework for his altarpieces. His painting developed away from naturalism towards an individual style in that he tried to find a new expression for spiritual phenomena, and in his later work increasingly referred again to his origins as an icon painter. El Greco enriched the Catholic world of images with new topics and with a new interpretation of well-known iconographies. His art was less promoted by the nobility, but supported by intellectuals, clergy and humanists.
The reception El Greco varied widely over time. With his individual style he went his own way, which was largely independent of the development of painting in Spain. After his death, his art was given little appreciation and in some cases it was ignored. A slow rediscovery of El Greco began in the 19th century, and around 1900 he had his breakthrough. This was less supported by art studies than by writers, art criticism and the artistic avant-garde. It was seen by modern artists , especially expressionism , as an important point of reference and incorporated into works. He was also used by Spanish artists and intellectuals to strengthen national identity.
Childhood and start of work
Domenikos Theotokopoulos, called 'El Greco', was born in Candia in 1541, the then capital of the island of Crete , now Heraklion . Fodele , 20 km away, also claims to be the birthplace of the artist. However, this thesis has been refuted today. His year of birth comes from a document from 1606 in which El Greco described himself as 65 years old. At the time of his birth Crete belonged to the Republic of Venice , for which his father Georgios Theotokopoulos worked as a state tax collector. The father was also a trader, as was the artist's older brother, Manoussos, who was also a seafarer. The family did not originally come from Candia; the father probably immigrated from the region around Chania in the late 1520s . Neither about El Greco's mother nor about his first, Greek wife, has been handed down. Nothing is known about El Greco's childhood either. The family belonged to the middle class of the island.
Since the Orthodox and Latin churches coexisted in Candia , it is still not clear to which of the two denominations the El Greco family belonged. There was a school of icon painting in Crete , which combined Orthodox tradition with Western influences that came to the island via prints from Venice. The Cretan workshops were popular in both the Eastern Mediterranean and Venice. In one of these workshops El Greco received his artistic training in the tradition of the Cretan school . In 1563 he was named in a document as a master of icon painting. He must have been a recognized artist, because in 1565 the Cretan icon painter Georgios Klontzas estimated one of his Passions at the high price of 70 ducats . The second appraiser, a priest, even suggested 80 ducats as the price. The price of 70 ducats was in the range that was paid at the time for paintings by Venetian masters like Tintoretto . This price assessment goes hand in hand with the assumption that El Greco was the most valued painter in Crete even before he left for Venice, because on average the artists in Candia achieved significantly lower prices than Venetians.
The earliest work still known today and signed by El Greco with his real name is a motif of the Dormition of Mary . The picture, painted in 1567, has been hanging in the homonymous church of Ermoupoli on the island of Syros since around 1850 .
Stay in Italy
In 1568 El Greco was present in Venice, as evidenced by a letter dated August 18, 1568. In it he announced that he had sent drawings to the Greek cartographer Giorgio Sideris , known as Calapodas. Sideris was one of the intellectuals who had supported the slow rise of El Greco. It is possible that the cartographer even initiated the move to Venice. Research suggests that El Greco set out for Venice as early as the spring or summer of 1567.
He stayed in Venice for three years and painted numerous pictures there. What they have in common is that El Greco got closer to local artists such as Jacopo Bassano , Jacopo Tintoretto and Tizian . In place of the gold ground , El Greco now set a perspective space, drawing on architectural treatises such as that of Sebastiano Serlio . In addition, he gave up tempera painting , turned to oil painting, which had been widespread in the West since Jan van Eyck , and began to use canvases as image carriers . Nevertheless, until the end of his life he still created many of his paintings with tempera paints, but then finished them with oil paints. The stay in Venice was formative for El Greco's lighting design and choice of colors.
In 1570 the miniature painter Giulio Clovio referred his patron Alessandro Farnese in Rome to a now lost self-portrait by El Greco, which would have astonished the Roman artists, and recommended that the artist be taken in the Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola . He recommended El Greco to his patron as a student of Titian. The latter then painted a portrait of Clovio, which was perhaps intended as consideration for the recommendation. In the Palazzo Farnese he met the important humanist and librarian Fulvio Orsini , whose collection later included seven works by El Greco. It is possible that through Orsini's friend Pedro Chacón he also met the church dignitary Luis de Castilla from Spain, with whom El Greco subsequently became a close friend.
In the house of the Farnese, El Greco was little used, as fresco painters were mainly used there. It is true that the collaboration of a Greek painter on the frescoes has been handed down, but no work can be assigned to him. El Greco looked for his own market niche as a portrait painter with his lost self-portrait, the portrait of Clovio and other works . With innovative portraits and other image experiments such as the genre picture of a boy lighting a candle, he made a name for himself in the circles of Roman scholars and intellectuals. He was also looking for recognition in other genres, but in Rome he had to face competition from many high-ranking painters who worked in Michelangelo's tradition . In order to set himself apart and to bring out his strangeness as a strength, El Greco appealed to Titian. In this context is also the anecdote handed down by Mancini , according to which El Greco offered the Pope to paint over the criticized Last Judgment by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel . Then he had to leave the city because of the criticism of the Roman painters.
El Greco was released from the Farnese house and decided to go his own way in Rome. On September 18, 1572 he paid the two Scudi admission fee and thus joined the Roman Guild of St. Luke under the name Dominico Greco. He subsequently opened his own workshop in Rome, where he was first supported by the Sienese painter Lattanzio Bonastri da Lucignano . A little later, Francesco Prevoste , who later accompanied El Greco to Spain, joined the workshop. There are no documents from September 1572 to October 1576 that could give any clues as to what El Greco did during this period. It is also not known why he left Italy.
First years in Spain
The presence of El Greco in Spain has been proven for October 1576 - how he got there is not known. At that time there were close contacts between Rome and Spain. Many Spaniards stayed in Rome and numerous Italian artists were drawn to the Iberian Peninsula. During his stay with the Farneses , El Greco was able to make contact with Spaniards such as Luis de Castilla . Through de Castilla, El Greco received several commissions in Toledo , especially during the early days of his stay in Spain. Before he came to Toledo, he probably stayed briefly in Madrid , where he hoped to get a job at the court. More detailed information about this station does not exist. On the mediation of Diego de Castilla , the father of his friend and dean of the cathedral, he created an altar for the Cistercian abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos in Toledo. He not only designed the pictorial program that matched the funeral chapel with the physical admission of Mary into Heaven as the central image, but also designed the architecture of the retable , its sculptural decoration and the tabernacle .
Also at the mediation of Diego de Castilla, who was not solely responsible in this case, El Greco painted Christ is Stripped of His Clothes for the Cathedral of Toledo . This led to a conflict about the price and the design of the painting, as it subsequently also occurred with other paintings. The price of the painting was set in Spain at this time after completion of the painting by appraisers commissioned by the artist and the client. El Greco's representative suggested the high price of 900 ducats, while the cathedral representatives only wanted to pay 227 ducats. The large deviation was explained by the fact that there was criticism of the picture. El Greco would normally have had to rework the criticism, but he refused because he saw himself as the creator of his works and not as a mere executive organ of his clients. The conflict arose from the different social position of the painter in Italy and Spain. In September 1579 there was an initial agreement on 317 ducats in this dispute, but it did not last long. In 1585 there was another compromise according to which El Greco should also design the framework. Two years later the new price of 535 ducats for picture and frame was negotiated. The fact that the frame was valued higher than the painting in this context was due to the higher status of sculpture in Spain at the time compared to painting . El Greco did not change the iconography of the picture in the course of this time, although the picture still hung in the main church of the diocese.
Unsuccessful pursuit of the court and contacts with the Inquisition
Between 1577 and 1579 El Greco painted the Adoration of the Name of Jesus , with which he wanted to recommend himself to King Philip II . In this picture he brought in the king directly as a figure. In 1578 he and his partner Jerónima de las Cuevas, about which little information has been handed down, had a son who was named after his father and brother Jorge Manuel. The more recent research on El Greco assumes that Jerónima de las Cuevas probably came from an artisan family and not, as is often assumed, from the nobility. The relationship did not last long as Jerónima de la Cuevas died young.
In the years 1580 to 1582 El Greco painted The Martyrdom of St. Mauritius as a test picture for the Church of the Escorial , in order to gain a foothold in Madrid after his successes in Toledo . In this situation El Greco made a change in style from naturalism to painting, in which he was looking for creative ways of expressing spiritualism . With the construction of the Escorial, the king's intention was to implement the ideas of the Council of Trent , which he helped to shape . For this purpose he actually wanted to entrust Juan Fernández de Navarrete with the design of all the altars. Navarrete died, however, so new painters had to be found. Perhaps because of the first image with which El Greco wanted to recommend himself at court, the adoration of the name of Jesus , the king envisaged the Greeks as a possible substitute. El Greco provided an elaborate picture, but in its turn against naturalism it contradicted the ideals of the council. Although this work was well paid for and no corrections were made, El Greco did not receive any further royal commissions, as Philip II found the picture unsuitable for the destination. Instead of the planned exhibition location on the altar of the Escorial Church, the picture was hung in a less prominent place in the church. Philip II commissioned Romulo Cincinato to make a picture on the same subject. This was based on El Greco's composition, but changed its focus. Cincinato received 500 ducats for his work, while El Greco received 800. The behavior of the king showed the emerging distinction between altar and collector image. Overall, this approach runs counter to the anecdotes and reports about the strong influence of the Inquisition on art production in Spain. With the support of open-minded church circles, the Greek El Greco was able to develop baroque pictorial ideas in Spain that were only able to gain acceptance elsewhere in the 17th century.
El Greco had two contacts with the Inquisition. In the first case, he worked on nine dates between May and December 1582 as a translator in a trial against a Greek servant who was charged with heresy , but acquitted. The second contact was directly related to El Greco and his art. After the failure at court, the painter sought new patrons from the Toledo clergy. His sample picture was the portrait of a cardinal that showed Fernando Niño de Guevara , who was Grand Inquisitor in Toledo around 1600 .
Last years of life in Toledo
The rejection in Madrid reinforced El Greco's ties to Toledo. On September 10, 1585, he rented a room in the palace of the Marques de Villena in the former Jewish quarter, where he occupied three residential units and, after the untimely death of his partner, lived alone with his son. He lived there until 1590 and then again from 1604. In 1589, El Greco was named a citizen of the city in a document. On March 18, 1586, the priest commissioned his own parish to paint The Burial of the Count of Orgaz . Between 1596 and 1600 El Greco painted the reredos for the Augustinian College of Doña María de Aragón in Madrid. For this work he received 6000 ducats, the highest price he could ever achieve for a painting.
On November 9, 1597, El Greco received the major order to design the Capilla de San José in Toledo, his most important order in Toledo after Santo Domingo el Antiguo. The contract included the two altar paintings as well as the design and gilding of the frame. His son, who started working for him that year, appeared as the name on a document in which he undertook to complete a work in the event of his father's death. From 1603 the son can be found more frequently in documents on workshop operations.
Despite numerous well-paid jobs, El Greco often found himself in economic difficulties because he had a very upscale lifestyle. So he employed musicians at times to entertain him during meals. Between 1603 and 1607 there were conflicts over the image program for the Hospital de la Caridad in Illescas . The contract contained unfavorable conditions for El Greco, so that his costs were hardly reimbursed and a lawsuit was necessary. Among other things, criticism provoked that rich citizens instead of poor were shown under the protective cloak of the Madonna. For this reason, after El Greco's death, the ruff was painted over. During this time he trained Luis Tristán , who after El Greco's death became the most important painter in Toledo and can be traced back to as a student in El Greco's studio between 1603 and 1606. In 1607 El Greco's son took over a managerial position in the studio in place of the late Prevoste. Father and son received orders from the Archdiocese of Toledo to examine the furnishings of churches for the orthodoxy of their image programs. Afterwards, they were able to secure lucrative contracts several times.
In the following year El Greco took over the commission of Pedro Salazar de Mendoza for three altarpieces for the Hospital de Tavera . However, this work remained unfinished. In 1611 Francisco Pacheco visited El Greco in Toledo. He made both a portrait of the painter and a biography that appeared in his book on famous painters. Both certificates are lost today. In his book El arte de la pintura , published in 1649 , Pacheco published information about El Greco's working methods and artistic ideas. It was passed down from him that El Greco also worked as a theoretician. El Greco died on April 7, 1614. Two Greeks were present at the deathbed as witnesses. Luis de Castilla subsequently settled his estate. At the time of his death, El Greco was deeply in debt. He left no will, which was unusual at the time.
Funeral and estate
El Greco was first born in the monastery of St. Dominic of Silos is buried, where in 1612 he agreed to set up a funeral chapel with an altar and an altarpiece of the Adoration of the Shepherds . In 1618, Luis de Castilla, the patron saint of the monastery, died and the nuns had a dispute over the price. Therefore, El Greco's son had his body transferred to San Torcuato in 1619. This church was later demolished and El Greco's remains were lost.
Jorge Manuel Greco made an inventory of his father's property, including 143 mostly finished paintings, including three Laocoon versions, 15 plaster models, 30 clay models, 150 drawings, 30 plans, 200 prints and over 100 books. The son's family stayed in his house. In 1621, on the occasion of the second marriage of the son, an inventory of El Greco's property was made again.
El Greco painted many religious pictures and portraits . There were also a few genre pictures and landscapes . Only a few copies of his drawings have survived. His work can be divided into three geographically defined phases. Its beginnings in Crete have long been controversial in research. Today there is art-historical consensus that El Greco began his artistic career as an icon painter there . The second phase is his time in Italy, where he adapted western techniques and compositions. He worked in Venice and Rome before moving to Spain. There he found his own style and created his main works.
El Greco was a tech-savvy artist who used high quality materials. Therefore, his works are usually in a good state of preservation. He kept a small-format oil reproduction of each picture in his workshop and picked up motifs again at different times. His contribution to the artistic reform of the Catholic world of images lay primarily in the formulation of new image themes and iconography and in the modification of already known motifs. He also experimented with a new visual language. For them, in old age, he returned to his roots in Eastern icon painting and linked them with his Western experiences to create a successful individual style. El Greco probably assigned an important role to the drawing in the work process. So it is not surprising that in 1614 there were 150 drawings in the inventory of his estate. However, only very few drawings by El Greco have survived, as this medium was not given any importance on the Iberian Peninsula and therefore did not receive much attention.
El Greco's earliest known painting is the Death of the Virgin , which he painted around 1567 and which can be seen today in the Church of the Dormition of Mary in Ermoupoli on the island of Syros . He signed the painting with Domenikos Theotokopoulos . The conception of the death of the Virgin reveals that El Greco had been trained as an icon painter , but he already broke away from the typified models, the two-dimensional figures that follow the same forms, including clothing and the light coming from inside the form. The aureole radiating from the Holy Spirit , in the center of which there is a dove, connects the sleeping Madonna with the enthroned Madonna. In addition, Christ bows down in a tender gesture. Another striking detail are the three candelabra that are in the foreground. The middle one has caryatids at its base , which refers to a graphic model. These picture elements were the painter's own artistic contributions that went beyond the existing picture type. It was also unusual for him to sign the picture, as icons were usually not signed. In doing so, he underlined his humanistic aspirations and further artistic ambitions. Another picture from his Cretan phase is Saint Luke paints an icon of the Virgin with the child , who is badly damaged but still bears parts of his signature. El Greco painted the central motif of the evangelist Luke and Mary in the form of a hodegetria in the traditional Byzantine manner, while he introduced new motifs in the peripheral motifs such as painting tools, renaissance chairs and angels. The well-known works that El Greco created in Crete all show a high artistic quality with their lighting and strong expression. In addition, they all have freehand preliminary drawings.
The first phase of work was controversial for a long time, as El Greco did not fit into the western art canon as an icon painter. Harold E. Wethey assumed, for example, that El Greco only developed into an artist in Venice. There were also two other painters on Crete named Domenikos. Only when Mary's death was found, who also bore the surname Theotokopoulos, was there a clear reference work that unequivocally allowed stylistic comparisons. In current research, the beginning of the artistic career in Crete is generally recognized.
In Venice El Greco turned to oil painting and used canvases as picture carriers. As is customary there, he used coarse canvases that support expressive effects with their plastic texture. First he applied a thin white primer, over which he again applied a second primer, which was colored pink to dark red. Then he applied the contours of the figures with a brush and black paint as a preliminary drawing and also set points of light with white and the darkest areas over the entire surface of the picture with black and carmine. Only in a further step was the actual paint application carried out in a complex process. The formats remained rather small, which may also have been due to El Greco's order situation. Technically, El Greco remained Venetian. At the transition between his Byzantine and Venetian painting style stands the carrying altar known as the Modena triptych , the client of which probably came from a Cretan-Venetian family. The object type with the gilded frame parts was common in Crete in the 16th century, but the iconography is clearly westernized. The altar bears El Greco's signature and is therefore an important reference work for assessing works from this period.
El Greco painted the same subject at different times several times throughout his life. His artistic development can be traced in these pictures. So he painted the first version of the healing of the blind in Venice on wood. In it he referred to pictures by Tintoretto , from which he borrowed the division into two groups of figures, the distant view and the dog in the foreground, which is popular in Venetian pictures. The poses of the figures refer to various prints that El Greco used as models. The second version was probably made in Rome and painted on canvas. In the background El Greco added ruins, the figures looked more like ancient sculptures and Michelangelo's nudes. The man, only lightly clad in a shawl, resembles Farnese Hercules . El Greco remained true to Venetian influences throughout his life; However, at the end of his stay in Rome and at the beginning of his stay in Spain, he took up references to Michelangelo. In the early 1570s, for example, he painted a Pietà on wood, which referred to Michelangelo's group of sculptures Pietà di Palestrina in Florence from around 1550 . In contrast to the model, El Greco put Maria at the head of the composition. He gave the picture a drama that had not been found in his works until then and already pointed more towards the baroque . The figure of Christ had an unusual physicality for El Greco's works. He painted another version of the Pietà on canvas. It looks even more monumental and the robes more elaborated, even if there are still problems with the proportions on the right arm. Formally, the painting already has parallels to the early works created in Spain. However, research rejects the fact that it should have been created there.
El Greco continued this development towards physicality in his first commissions in Toledo. This can be seen on the altar for the Monasterio Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo. The central picture of the Assumption of Mary , which is framed by the full-length pictures of John the Baptist and John the Evangelist , as well as the half-length portraits of Saint Bernhardt and Saint Benedict, matches the installation in the burial chapel . In the gable field there is a picture of the veil of Veronica and on the next floor with the Holy Trinity there is another large-format picture. The main altar is framed by an Adoration of the Shepherds and the Resurrection of Christ as smaller side altars . This altar was a significantly larger commission than his paintings known from Crete or Italy. El Greco prepared the work thoroughly with preliminary drawings. One preliminary drawing by John the Baptist and two by John the Evangelist have survived. In the first drafts, he positioned the two in niches and the evangelist was shown in profile and facing the Ascension. In the second drawing, the artist already positioned it as it was painted. In the final version, however, El Greco did without the eagle, which was attached as a symbolic animal in the drawing . Under the influence of Michelangelo, El Greco found a very naturalistic style with monumental figures. In addition, his choice of colors followed the Roman school and gave the Assumption of Mary a great luminosity, while in the case of the Holy Trinity he used the high-contrast cold tones of green, yellow and blue and also used white in a dominant role in the center of the picture. The architectural framework that El Greco designed has clear classicist forms.
With the martyrdom of Saint Mauritius from 1580 to 1582, El Greco made the change from naturalism to painting, in which he was looking for a creative expression for spiritual phenomena. In the 1580s he turned more and more away from the Renaissance rules of proportion and perspective. Instead of studying living models, El Greco began working with clay models, like Tintoretto. He gave light a much stronger symbolic function than just using it in a natural way. This created strong light-dark contrasts. The colors used became much more expressive. Instead of placing the focus of the presentation on martyrdom as usual , El Greco mainly showed the conversation, accompanied by rhetorical gestures, based on a Sacra Conversazione . El Greco made the change of style in other works of the time.
El Greco created one of his most famous paintings with the funeral of the Count of Orgaz , which he painted from 1586 to 1588 and which later became a major work for the painter's studies. The image is divided into two zones. In the lower part, El Greco represented the funeral service, which had been modeled on a funeral as was customary in Toledo at that time. The nobleman is laid in the grave by Saints Stephen and Augustine , with which the artist referred to the legend about the burial. On the right, the client is probably reading the requiem . The upper zone shows heaven, into which the soul of the deceased is introduced as a child by an angel, who confronts the judge of the world and John and Mary as his advocates and other saints. In this picture El Greco only used light as a symbolic element. In the sky he painted a seemingly restless streak light. The lower half, on the other hand, is well lit like a stage, the torches there have no real lighting effect. On the one hand, the painting refers to a historical event that has been religiously transfigured, but on the other hand it is also a group portrait.
An example of a new iconographic theme developed by El Greco is the penitent half-length saint, which already refers to the following Baroque. A single figure of a saint was depicted in isolation and monumentally and offered the viewer the opportunity to see the figure as an emotional contact person. This invention of images can be considered revolutionary. Examples are, for example, The Penitent Magdalena , which, in contrast to Titian's painting of the same name, manages without erotic references, or The repentant Saint Peter . Images of St. Francis were equally popular . El Greco did not paint Francis, as was customary until then, when he received the stigmata of Christ , but when he was reflecting on it with a skull . There are still around 40 preserved versions of this picture idea. Pacheco praised the fact that El Greco had portrayed the figure of the founder of the order, which has been handed down in the chronicles, particularly well. The large number of images on this topic was due to the popularity of Francis in Spain. In addition, El Greco, as he knew it from Italy, relied on printmaking to popularize his composition. He had the Francis painting re-engraved by his pupil Diego de Astor .
In addition to new image ideas, El Greco renewed the Catholic world of images with stylistic innovations. On the one hand, he referred to his roots as a Cretan icon painter, as in The Burial of the Count of Orgaz , which, for example , referred to the early death of Mary in the composition . On the other hand, a late version of the temple cleaning from 1610 to 1614 shows a high degree of abstraction from the observation of nature. The movement and the light are increased to such an extent that they have partly been characterized as "expressionistic". The visionary nature of El Greco's art can also be seen in the painting The Opening of the Fifth Seal , which is based on the vision of the Evangelist John and was a fragment of a late altar project. In contrast to other pictures that thematize this vision, El Greco integrated the saint into the picture and thus shifted the meaning from the depiction of the event that occurred to the moment of the appearance itself. In this picture, the dematerialization of form at El Greco reached its climax . It was not until 1908 that the subject of the picture was recognized and its purpose became established. Numerous interpretations existed before that. The upper part of the painting is lost and its position in the planned ensemble cannot be reconstructed. Visions , like one painted here by El Greco, are a common theme in Spanish baroque painting. Therefore this painting is not an isolated work, but is in the context of the development of Spanish painting and referred to it.
Between 1610 and 1614 El Greco painted three versions of the Laocoon that did not leave his studio and that were recorded in the inventory after his death. Only one version has survived. It is the only mythological work by El Greco and is part of a rich pictorial tradition based on Virgil's Aeneid and the sculpture of Laocoon , discovered in Rome in 1506 . The artist could not finish the picture before his death, which is why the figures on the right edge of the picture were not completely executed. During a restoration in 1955, the pentimenti were exposed, so that a third head and a fifth leg can now be seen in the group of figures on the right. These figures have been interpreted differently, including Adam and Eve , with which El Greco would have created a synthesis of myth and religion. Instead of Troy , the painter put his hometown Toledo in the picture.
El Greco was a recognized portrait painter . From his stay in Italy until the last years of his life, he made portraits that ensured him a regular income. Shortly after moving to Rome around 1570, he painted the portrait of Giulio Clovio , which shows the recognized miniature painter as a half-length figure with the Farnese Book of Hours in his hand. The window on the right side of the picture shows a view of a landscape with a stormy sky. The landscape format of this portrait is unusual for a portrait. One of the most outstanding examples of El Greco's portrait painting is the full-length portrait of the Knight of Malta Vincenzo Anastagi , which was created in 1571–1576. The knight is shown with velvet harem pants and breastplate in front of a dark curtain. The room in which a helmet lies on the floor is very bare and modeled by the light. Another portrait from this period attributed to El Greco is the portrait of Charles de Guise, Cardinal of Lorraine from 1572. The seated cardinal holds open a book with his right hand showing the year and age of the sitter are specified. The parrot in the window is supposed to show the cardinal's ambition for the office of Pope. In Toledo around 1600 El Greco painted a very similar painting with A Cardinal (the Grand Inquisitor Fernando Niño de Guevara) . The sitter wears glasses that were very modern and controversial at the time. This attribute identifies the cardinal as open to the new, as does his choice to hire El Greco as an artist.
In Toledo El Greco was an important portrait painter who worked artistically outstanding. The portrait of a nobleman with his hand on his chest from the years 1583 to 1585 has a very rich color of the background and clothing, which is in the Venetian tradition. In contrast to the Madrid court painters, El Greco used an open painting style in the tradition of Titian, in which the brushstroke is still recognizable in the finished picture. The sitter's posture with his oath gesture is strict. Apart from the golden pommel of the sword, El Greco completely dispensed with symbolism. He portrayed important figures in Toledo such as the monk Hortensio Félix Paravicino y Arteaga , Antonio de Covarrubias and Jerónimo de Cevallos . In his late work there is also the portrait of Cardinal Tavera , who was dead under Charles V and head of government of Castile for over half a century at the time of painting.
El Greco, portrait of Charles de Guise, Cardinal of Lorraine , 178.5 × 94.6 cm, oil on canvas, 1572, Kunsthaus Zürich
A small part of El Greco's work can be assigned to genre painting . With the picture Boy lighting a candle , he realized an original picture idea, which he carried out in different versions and copies. The painting, made in the early 1570s, a version of which has been preserved in the Farnese Collection, was probably an ekphrasis based on a model from antiquity. There were also some forerunners in Venetian painting, where such a motif was integrated into a larger narrative context. El Greco isolated a single figure, which was placed in a special proximity to the viewer through the lighting and the perspective from below. This image secured him a small niche of his own in Rome.
In his later work El Greco made a few landscape paintings and incorporated elements from them into other works. In the years 1597 to 1599, for example, he painted the view of Toledo , in which he referred on the one hand to the significant history of the city and the urban developments that were taking place at that time. He created an idiosyncratic view of the city that was very different from other depictions and did not seek historical fidelity. El Greco painted a view of the eastern part of the city with the palace, the Alcántara bridge, the castle of San Servando and the bell tower of the cathedral , which is offset to the right . With that he dramatically increased the rise of the city mountain. He also left out the city wall and changed the course of the river in the foreground. The highest building on the right is the Alcázar , the building below it with the arcade floor at the end does not correspond to a real building in Toledo. It was interpreted as a symbolic reference to the many city palaces of rich citizens. In another painting, View and Plan of Toledo , which was created between 1610 and 1614, the painter gave the city an inner luminosity that removed it from its real existence in the direction of the Heavenly Jerusalem . El Greco also made reference to Toledo in the landscape in the altar painting St. Joseph with the Christ Child , which was painted between 1597 and 1599, and in other images of saints. A view of Toledo can also be seen in the background of his Laocoon .
polychrome wood, 1600–1610, Museo del Prado in Madrid
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El Greco also designed the architectural framework and sculptural decorations for many of his altar paintings . This enabled him to generate additional income, mainly taking advantage of the fact that sculpture was valued more highly in Spain and better paid than painting at the time. However, he usually did not make these sculptures personally, but commissioned other sculptors. Nevertheless, he probably made mainly smaller sculptures in various techniques, which he mostly used as models, as he had got to know from Jacopo Tintoretto . These figures made of plaster of paris, wax or clay were not very durable and were lost over time. There was also a wooden figure that was in the possession of the son and was used for devotional purposes.
Only a few sculptures by El Greco have survived, and there is little knowledge about them. They testify to a variety of influences and are therefore characteristic of the artist's work. The sculptures still preserved today include Epimetheus and Pandora , which were created between 1600 and 1610. As nude figures , they are unusual for Spanish Renaissance art. In addition, the mythological theme was not common, but corresponded to the humanistic education of the artist and his environment in Toledo. In addition, the myth of Epimetheus and Pandora was interpreted as a pagan version of Adam and Eve at the time . Technically, El Greco executed them in polychromatic wood in the Spanish tradition . In terms of design, the figures resemble the mannerism of Alonso Berruguete , but the representation of the body is at the same time an individual design method by El Greco, which is also found in his painting. Another sculpture that has been preserved is a risen Christ , which El Greco created around 1595/1598. It was part of the tabernacle of the main altar in the Hospital de San Juan Bautista in Toledo. The posture resembles painted figures of Christ El Greco from this time. The male nude was an unusual subject for 16th century Spain, as Harold E. Wethey emphasized. Thus El Greco also went his own artistic path in sculpture.
Art and architecture theory
In addition to his artistic activity, El Greco also dealt with art and architecture theory. However, his considerations have only come down to us in fragments as annotations in books from his library. They are among El Greco's most valuable handwritten documents. In the 17th century a treatise by El Greco with his theoretical considerations circulated in Spain, which the artist had presented to the king. However, this writing has been lost.
The considerations known today can be found as notes in an edition of Giorgio Vasari's Viten and Vitruv's De architettura from the artist's library. El Greco's utterances total 18,000 words, 7,000 on Vasari, 11,000 on Vitruvius. In view of his position in Spain, it is noteworthy that he did not deal with the religious function of art in the known utterances. On the other hand, El Greco emphasized the autonomy of the artist with regard to the design of the picture. He emphasized the intention of painting to learn about philosophy and naturalism. In his remarks he distanced himself from the mathematical-theoretical direction, which aimed strongly at the study of proportions. El Greco also turned against classicism , which had become popular in the tradition of Michelangelo in Spain. The Viten challenged the painter to comment. He praised Titian while criticizing Michelangelo's color treatment and Raphael's strong reception of antiquity. In addition, El Greco rejected Vasari's model of the course of art history, which the Byzantine art, from whose tradition El Greco himself came, regarded as clumsy and inferior to Italian art.
The reception El Greco fell over time from very different. He was not promoted by the nobility , but relied primarily on intellectuals , clergy, humanists and other artists. After his death, his art was given little appreciation and in some cases it was ignored. Its rediscovery began in the 19th century, and El Greco had its breakthrough around 1900. This was less supported by art studies than by writers, art criticism and the artistic avant-garde .
El Greco was the outstanding artistic personality in the Spain of Philip II and Philip III. Both artistically and with his demeanor, with which he moved himself to the center of his work as an artist, he had a revolutionary effect, which aroused both admiration and rejection among his contemporaries. He was looking for new forms of expression and reformed the iconography and pictorial themes of religious painting. Towards the end of his life he turned his art back to his beginnings as a Cretan icon painter and was therefore difficult to classify in the Spanish art of the early 17th century. Even his son did not continue his individual style. Nevertheless, his work served as a preparation for the baroque .
Due to his work and appearance, El Greco was already a celebrity during his lifetime, but apart from his portraits and his colored and naturalistic works, little esteem was given to him. Contemporary testimonies came from Alonso de Villegas , Francisco de Pisa and the Italian Giulio Mancini , whose notes from around 1615 were not published until 1956. Even Pacheco had visited El Greco in Toledo. He painted a portrait of him and wrote a biography, both of which were lost. The monk Hortensio Félix Paravicino y Arteaga praised El Greco in his work Obras postumas, divinas y humanas , published in 1641 . In it was a sonnet in which he praised the portrait of himself he had created. In four other sonnets he also generally praised El Greco's art.
On the basis of the testimonies of direct contemporaries, the painter and art writer Palomino El Greco attributed that by refusing to pay the craft tax, he had contributed to the rise of painting in Spain to the "liberal arts". Although the artist was primarily concerned with his own financial advantage, his appearance contributed to the fact that the visual arts in Spain began to break away from the craft. At the same time, Palomino criticized El Greco's late work, who, in an attempt to set himself apart from Titian, turned to less bold colors and distorted drawings. Despite the temporal proximity to El Greco, who was less than a hundred years dead, Palomino passed down major misinformation. In 1776 Antonio Ponz wrote in his work Reise durch Spanien , in which he recorded the art treasures of Spain, about El Greco's altar for the Cathedral of Toledo that "these paintings alone are sufficient to secure El Greco the highest fame among painters." Juan Agustin Ceán Bermúdez built on Palomino's description in 1800 , who added some further information from the Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos (el Antiguo). He classified El Greco's work between madness and reason. In the 1840s, William Stirling-Maxwell published the first publication with an illustration of a painting by El Greco.
As a result of the rediscovery of El Greco by painters and artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, there were numerous publications that often diverged further from historical reality. Authors and philosophers such as Maurice Barrès , Benito Pérez Galdós , Gregorio Marañón , Max Raphael , Carl Einstein , Julius Meier-Graefe and Rainer Maria Rilke approached El Greco on a more subjective level and tried to find new interpretations apart from the positions generally accepted up until then Find. In addition, art history as a subject was not that well developed in Spain. Other authors such as Elías Tormo , Fracisco Navarro Ledesma , Max Dvořák and Carl Justi strove to gain historical knowledge . Justi, who was a pioneer of Spain research in art history, was rather critical of El Greco's work, but valued his portraits. Some art critics explained the style of the late work with an eye disease. However, the detailed paintings clearly show El Greco's artistic will. In 1910, the art critic Julius Meier-Graefe published his book Spanische Reise , in which he particularly praised El Greco. In doing so, he accompanied an important change in art-critical orientation away from impressionism and towards expressionism . For Meier-Graefe, El Greco drew particular strength from his lack of home. He developed his apparent deficits in the Western art context as a Byzantine trained icon painter to his strength and thus found a strong individual style. Between 1911 and 1931 August Liebmann Mayer worked on his work on El Greco, in which he combined historical facts with his knowledge. He was in close contact with the art dealer Tomás Harris .
The number of El Greco's works was controversial and the attributions changed over time. More and more works were attributed to him. Manuel Bartolomé Cossío expanded the painter's oeuvre from 1908 to 1928 from 174 paintings, first to 235 and then to 383. Mayer expanded the number from 191 in 1911 to 357 in 1931, while the number of variants for him rose from 145 to 408 In the two catalogs from 1950 and 1970 by José Camón Aznar , 803 works were assigned to El Greco, while Harold E. Wethey in the 1960s separated hands significantly and came to only 285 works. The attribution to El Greco with the separation of hands between handwritten works, works by the son and studio work turned out to be difficult and complicated. In the 1930s, the artistic work on Crete was added, which was initially hardly noticed and was controversial. It was only after the discovery of the death of the Virgin Mary on Syros in 1983, signed with El Greco's full Greek name, that the Cretan part of the work slowly gained acceptance in art history. It is supported by the majority opinion, but there remained individual negative positions, for example from Wethey and Jonathan Brown regarding the Modena triptych . Another problem with the attribution is that El Greco's works are a popular commodity. As a result of the dismortment of church property in 1935 and the exhibitions and publications around 1900, the painter's works became popular collector's items. There is thus an interest in the attribution to El Greco even in the case of unclear and controversial works. In addition, restorations were carried out with the aim of giving the pictures an expressionist style of expression in order to meet the tastes of the public.
The sources of El Greco have improved significantly over time. During his time in Spain there are over 500 documents. In the meantime four documents are known about his time in Crete, one about his stay in Venice and five about his stay in Rome. In addition, some theoretical considerations El Greco became known, which he left as notes in books from his possession.
El Greco was received artistically in Spain to a small extent as early as the 17th century, even if there was no successor in his individual style. Diego Velázquez owned three portraits of El Greco and based his modeling with light on his painting style. However, Roman baroque art hardly took notice of the existence of El Greco's art. In Spain, especially during Classicism and the Enlightenment around 1800, El Greco's works were rejected and the artist criticized, for example from Goya's environment .
The first step in upgrading El Greco's oeuvre was the opening of the Spanish Gallery in the Louvre in 1838 by King Louis-Philippe I. Nine paintings by the artist were presented there. But it wasn't until around 1900 that El Greco was received as a typical painter for Spain by Spanish intellectuals and artists who were looking for a national identity. Here took Ignacio Zuloaga a leading role. In 1887 he copied El Greco's first works in the Museo del Prado and then adapted some of his motifs in his own works. In 1905 he acquired The Opening of the Fifth Seal , which he described as “the harbinger of modernity” and used it as a background in his picture Mis amigos , in which he portrayed some of the most important writers of his time. Influenced by Zuloaga, Santiago Rusiñol bought two works by El Greco in Paris in 1893 and staged the transport to his house in Spain as a symbolic transfer of the works to Spain. Pablo Picasso experienced this rediscovery of El Greco himself in Barcelona and Madrid. In his first important phase of work, the Blue Period, his painting The Burial of Casagemas referred to The Burial of Count Orgaz . A drawing by Picasso was even titled Yo El Greco ("I El Greco"). In the Pink Period he took up motifs from The Opening of the Fifth Seal in his painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, which was perceived as a scandal . Even in the 1950s, Picasso still dealt with El Greco in his art. In France, for example, Paul Cézanne also copied The Lady with an Ermine from a reproduction when it was still clearly attributed to El Greco. Julius Meier-Graefe also wrote of an inner relationship between Cézanne and El Greco, which was subsequently taken up by Rilke or Franz Marc in Der Blaue Reiter . Overall, French artists showed great interest in El Greco. Édouard Manet traveled to Toledo in 1865 with Théodore Duret . Jean-François Millet and then Edgar Degas owned the Portrait of Kneeling Domingo . In Eugène Delacroix is found, among other things, a Pietà , which is inspired by El Greco's composition and the turn of Vincent van Gogh was picked up. Also Marcel Duchamp sat down at the end of his painterly work around with the images Portrait (Dulcinée) and Le Printemps (Jeune homme et jeune fille dans le printemps) from 1911 deals with El Greco.
In Germany, Julius Meier-Graefe's book Spanische Reise had a significant influence on El Greco's enthusiasm and influenced modern artists. Karl Hofer went to Paris on his advice, where, towards the end of his early work, he dealt intensively with the Spaniard's painting. Another important impulse was the exhibition of the Hungarian Marcell Nemes' collection in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich in 1911 , in which eight works by El Greco were shown, supplemented by the one owned by the museum and the private loan of the Laocoon . The presentation was received very positively by Paul Klee , for example . It also triggered direct artistic involvement with El Greco, such as Antonín Procházka , Emil Filla and Franz Marc . In were responsible for, among others, Marc almanac Der Blaue Reiter was also El Greco's Saint John on a double page with the Tour Eiffel by Robert Delaunay , both in the collection of Bernhard Koehler shown were. Marc also emphasizes the connection between the appreciation for El Greco and the rise of contemporary art. This idealistic influence is much stronger for Marc than an artistic precipitate, which also applies to August Macke . The comparison of Delaunay and El Greco is relevant, as he names the Spaniard as an influence. His painting La Ville de Paris takes up the group of figures on the right in The Opening of the Fifth Seal .
In 1912, El Greco continued to fertilize modernity in the Rhineland. The Sonderbund exhibition, which had a special meaning for the avant-garde, took place in Cologne and was associated with an homage to El Greco. How many and which pictures were shown there can no longer be reconstructed. There were probably two in the context of a retrospective show with works by artists who were important for modernism. At the same time, the Nemes collection, in which the ten Grecos were exhibited, was shown in the Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf . In the case of Walter Ophey , Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Heinrich Nauen , who took part in the Sonderbund exhibition, there is evidence that they had dealt with El Greco. In others, this can be seen.
El Greco's reception continued beyond classical modernism. Jackson Pollock's early work was influenced by his preoccupation with Renaissance art. The two most extensive drawing books from this period contain some sketches based on compositions by El Greco. There are also more than 60 loose sheets with drawings based on the Spanish artist's work. He used two different techniques. On the one hand, he converted El Greco's compositions into reduced representations, which transferred the bodies in a few dominant strokes, on the other hand, he made detailed studies based on individual figures, with Pollock leaving out individual details such as hands and feet in both cases. In addition to the drawings, Jackson Pollock also made paintings that were based on El Greco, for example in the design of light and shadow. At the same time, however, he rejected the meaning of the symbolic components of El Greco's works. El Greco has been artistically edited up to the present day. Michael Mathias Prechtl painted pictures in the 1980s that deal with the Spaniard. He created the ironic work The Life of Lazarillo von Tormes , which was based on the portrait of a cardinal (the Grand Inquisitor Fernando Niño de Guevara) , on whom he sat a busty woman on his lap. With The Dream Toledo - El Greco's Funeral , Prechtl created a picture that was based on the Spaniard's view of Toledo .
Influenced by Zuloaga, Rainer Maria Rilke traveled to Toledo in 1912 to see works by El Greco. In his letters from this time he wrote a lot about El Greco, for example to Auguste Rodin or to the Princess von Taxis. He described the encounter with his work as one of the greatest events of these years; His motivation for the trip was the intention to be able to experience the artist in El Greco without a big crowd in his hometown. In his 1936 novella El Greco paints the Grand Inquisitor, the writer Stefan Andres describes the conditions of art in a dictatorship based on the portrait of the Grand Inquisitor Fernando Niño de Guevara , which El Greco painted around 1600. He positioned the painter as an opponent of the Inquisition, which is historically not tenable.
El Greco's life has been filmed several times. The ten-minute documentary Toledo y El Greco dates from 1935 . In the 1940s and 1950s, other documentaries with the name El Greco en Toledo were created . The documentation El Greco en su obra maestra: El entierro del Conde Orgaz from 1953 dealt in particular with the picture The Burial of the Count of Orgaz , which is one of the painter's main works.
The short film Evocación de El Greco was made in 1944 . The first feature film for the cinema was released in 1966 with El Greco . Luciano Salce directed the film and Mel Ferrer played the main character . In this film, the painter's life was told against the historical background of the events at the Spanish court and the Inquisition . In 1976 the Spanish television film El caballero de la mano en el pecho by Juan Guerrero Zamora was made, in which José María Rodero played the artist. In the 2007 film El Greco , Nick Ashdon portrayed the painter. The film showed El Greco as a champion for freedom and received a Goya for best costume design.
- José Álvarez Lopera (Ed.): El Greco. Identity and transformation. Crete, Italy, Spain , Skira, Milan 1999, ISBN 88-8118-474-5 .
- Wilfried Seipel (Ed.): El Greco. Skira, Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-85497-022-6 .
- David Davies, John Huxtable Elliott (Eds.): El Greco. National Gallery, London 2003, ISBN 1-85709-933-8 .
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Taschen, Cologne 2004, ISBN 3-8228-3170-0 .
- José Álvarez Lopera: El Greco. Estudio y Catálogo. Fundación Arte Hispánico, Madrid
- Archive of the Masters - El Greco , digital directory of works with 349 images, The Yorck Project published by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Berlin 2006, Directmedia Publishing software , CD-ROM, Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-936122-62-6 .
- Ronnie Baer, Sarah Schroth: El Greco to Velázquez. Art during the Reign of Philip III. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2008, ISBN 978-0-87846-726-6 .
- Nikolaos M. Panagiotakes: El Greco. The Cretan Years. Ashgate, Farnham 2009, ISBN 978-0-7546-6897-8 .
- Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (Ed.): El Greco and the modern. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2012, ISBN 978-3-7757-3326-7 .
- Literature by and about El Greco in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about El Greco in the German Digital Library
- Literature by and about El Greco in the catalog of the library of the Instituto Cervantes in Germany
- El Greco on kunstaspekte.de
- Overview of sources at artcyclopedia.com (English)
- Works by El Greco at Zeno.org .
- El Greco at the Web Gallery of Art
- LISA interview on El Greco with Beat Wismer, Kunstpalast Düsseldorf
- Website on the El Greco commemorative year 2014 (400th anniversary of death), accessed April 7, 2014, in Spanish
- Nikolaos M. Panagiotakes: El Greco. The Cretan Years . Farnham 2009, p. 17 .
- Nikolaos M. Panagiotakes: El Greco. The Cretan Years. Farnham 2009, p. 47.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 7.
- Nikolaos M. Panagiotakes: El Greco. The Cretan Years. Farnham 2009, p. 61.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 8.
- Nikolaos M. Panagiotakes: El Greco. The Cretan Years. Farnham 2009, p. 29.
- Nikolaos M. Panagiotakes: El Greco. The Cretan Years. Farnham 2009, pp. 32 and 33.
- Ronnie Baer, Sarah Schroth: El Greco to Velázquez. Art during the Reign of Philip III. Boston 2008, p. 296.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 12.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 19.
- Sylvia Ferino-Pagden: El Greco. Introductory remarks on life and work. In: Wilfried Seipel (Ed.): El Greco. Vienna 2001, pp. 19–45, here: p. 26.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 20.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 25.
- José Álvarez Lopera (Ed.): El Greco. Identity and transformation. Crete, Italy, Spain. Milan 1999, p. 131.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 33.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 37.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 38.
- Fernando Marias: El Greco and the history of painting. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, p. 19.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 40.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 93.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 46.
- Ronnie Baer, Sarah Schroth: El Greco to Velázquez. Art during the Reign of Philip III. Boston 2008, p. 297.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 77.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 61.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 78.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 67.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 62.
- Fernando Marias: El Greco and the history of painting. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, p. 20.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 94.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco. Picture reviews. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 46–153, here: p. 48.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 16.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 34.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 9.
- José Álvarez Lopera (Ed.): El Greco. Identity and transformation. Crete, Italy, Spain. Milan 1999, p. 88.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 17.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco. Picture reviews. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 46–153, here: p. 60.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 29.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco. Picture reviews. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 46–153, here: p. 62.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, pp. 40 and 41.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 51.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 52.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco. Picture reviews. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 46–153, here: p. 88.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 68.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 73.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco. Picture reviews. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 46–153, here: p. 142.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 81.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco. Picture reviews. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 46–153, here: p. 138.
- Erwin Walter Palm: El Greco's Laokoon. In: Pantheon - Internationale Zeitschrift für Kunst , No. 2 (1969), pp. 131 and 132.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco. Picture reviews. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 46–153, here: p. 64.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 48.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 58.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 59.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 57.
- Michael Scholz-Hänsel: El Greco 1541-1614. Cologne 2004, p. 56.
- Seipel, p. 210.
- Seipel, p. 178.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 89.
- Fernando Marias: El Greco and the history of painting. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, p. 14.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, pp. 77 and 83.
- Fernando Marias: El Greco and the history of painting. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, p. 15.
- Fernando Marias: El Greco and the history of painting. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, p. 17.
- Michael Scholz-Hansel: El Greco 1541–1614. Cologne 2004, p. 90.
- Wismer, Scholz-Hansel, p. 18.
- Fernando Marias: El Greco and the history of painting. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, p. 21.
- Beat Wismer: They shake hands for centuries. El Greco and early modernism in Germany. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 156–195, here: p. 159.
- Beat Wismer: They shake hands for centuries. El Greco and early modernism in Germany. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 156–195, here: p. 157.
- Beat Wismer: They shake hands for centuries. El Greco and early modernism in Germany. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 156–195, here: p. 168.
- Beat Wismer: They shake hands for centuries. El Greco and early modernism in Germany. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 156–195, here: p. 179.
- Beat Wismer: They shake hands for centuries. El Greco and early modernism in Germany. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 156–195, here: p. 187.
- Beat Wismer: They shake hands for centuries. El Greco and early modernism in Germany. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 156–195, here: p. 189.
- James T. Valliere: The El Greco Influence on Jackson Pollock's Early Works. in: Art Journal 24, 1964, p. 6.
- James T. Valliere: The El Greco Influence on Jackson Pollock's Early Works. in: Art Journal 24, 1964, pp. 7-8.
- Beat Wismer: They shake hands for centuries. El Greco and early modernism in Germany. In: Beat Wismer, Michael Scholz-Hänsel (ed.): El Greco and the modern age. Ostfildern 2012, pp. 156–195, here: p. 176.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Theotokópoulos, Doménikos; Theotokopoulos, Domenikos; Θεοτοκόπουλος, Δομήνικος (Greek)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Spanish painter, sculptor, architect and master of Spanish Mannerism|
|DATE OF BIRTH||around 1541|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Kandia , Crete, Greece|
|DATE OF DEATH||April 7, 1614|
|Place of death||Toledo , Spain|