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El Greco

- April 7, 1614
1541 -


Doménikos Theotokópoulos (1541-1614), known by the nickname “El Greco,” was a Greek painter of the Spanish Renaissance. Born in Heraklion, Crete, while the island was under Venetian possession, El Greco first trained as an Icon painter in the Eastern Orthodox tradition before moving to Venice to study in the 1560s. In Italy, he learned from renowned artists such as Titian and Michelangelo, incorporating a combination of their approaches into his work. In 1577 he moved to Spain, eventually settling in Toledo, where he would spend the rest of his life working as a painter. Dedicated to his work and legacy, the Museo del Greco stands not far from his home in the city. Primarily a painter of religious works, El Greco is known for the strong sense of drama and expression he imbued into such powerful scenes. The Assumption of the Virgin, his first commissioned piece in Spain, is noted for the vivid colors and stark contrast that are distinct to his work. Utilizing Venetian technique and Mannerist composition, he defined his own style by setting aside the rules of reality and elongating the human form. A true genius of the High Renaissance, El Greco continued to take commissions from mainly religious institutions and figures until his death in 1614.

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