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About El Greco

Born 1541 Crete
Died April 7 1614 Toledo Spain

Greek

Movement/Period: Mannerism

Workshop/Studio: Toledo Spain

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) was born at Phodele, near Candia, Crete which is an Island to the south of Greece. As a young man El Greco travelled to Venice and Rome where he worked as an artist. In the mid 1570's he settled in Toledo, Spain where he established a workshop and remained for the rest of his life.

In Spain, El Greco would develop relationships with other intellectuals involved in the intense religious climate of the Catholic Reformation.

The great spiritual intensity in the art of El Greco reflects faith and mysticism through the compositional play of flickering light and dark, distortion and the consistent elongation in the proportions of his figures.

Toward the end of El Greco's life he was to face bankruptcy and poverty due in part to lack of payment from a contractual dispute for an altarpiece he was commissioned to paint. He suffered the further indignity of having his work neglected for three hundred years after his death. It was not until the early 20th century that El Greco was to be recognized as one of the great masters in the history of art.

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