El Greco

El Greco - Large Format Fine Art Prints and Reproductions

Domenikos Theotokopoulos, called El Greco, was born in 1541 in Candia, the capital of Crete. El Greco probably went to Italy to master the modern Western Renaissance style. He remained in Venice until the autumn of 1570, when he went to Rome. He was profoundly influenced by the rich colors and the free handling of paint of Venetian painters, but there is no evidence to support the tradition that he was apprenticed to Titian.

El Greco signed a contract in 1576 in Rome for altarpieces for the important church of Santa Domingo el Antiguo, Toledo. By July 1577 he had arrived in Toledo, and by September 1579 he had completed nine paintings for Santo Domingo. These works helped to establish his reputation as the most gifted artist in Toledo. The dissatisfaction of Philip II with the Martyrdom of Saint Maurice, which El Greco completed in 1582 for the church of El Escorial, effectively ended any hopes of royal patronage that he may have had. It is perhaps for this reason that he decided to remain in Toledo, where he had come in contact with a group of learned churchmen who appreciated his work. By 1585, El Greco appears to have established a corporate workshop capable of producing altar frames and statues as well as paintings.

The decade 1597 to 1607 was a period of intense activity for El Greco. During these years, the artist and his workshop created pictorial and sculptural ensembles for a variety of religious institutions. Between 1607 and 1608 El Greco was involved in a protracted legal dispute with the authorities of the hospital at Illescas concerning the payment for his work; this dispute greatly strained his financial resources and contributed to the economic difficulties that he experienced until his death in 1614. In 1608 he received his last major altarpiece commission, for the Hospital of Saint John the Baptist, Toledo.

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El Greco

Christ Cleansing the Temple

€37.00
In this tempestuous scene, El Greco depicted an angry Christ driving the moneychangers from the Temple. An uncommon theme, it became increasingly popular in the latter half of the sixteenth century, promoted by the Council of Trent as a symbol of the Catholic church's attempt to purify itself after the Protestant Reformation. Here El Greco portrayed...
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El Greco

Christ on the Cross

€37.00
Isolated atop a mountain, a gaunt, tormented Christ dominates a nearly empty landscape. On a road leading to the walled city of Jerusalem, horsemen pass by the execution hill, literally turning their backs on Christ. El Greco's use of dramatic colors and exaggerated proportions distorts the figure, conveying the transcendent moment when Christ sublimated...
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El Greco

Laocoön

€37.00
Suspecting trickery, Laocoön had warned his countrymen not to accept the wooden horse left outside Troy by the Greeks and had hurled his spear at it to prove that it was hollow. Thus the priest incurred the wrath of the gods, for desecrating an object dedicated to the goddess Athena. El Greco depicted serpents, sent by the angry gods, engaging Laocoön and...
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El Greco

Saint Jerome

€37.00
c. 1610-1614, National Gallery of Art, Washington
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El Greco

Saint Martin and the Beggar

€37.00
Commissioned for the Chapel of San José in Toledo by Martín Ramírez, a namesake of the saint and donor of the chapel, Saint Martin and the Beggar was part of one of the artist's most successful ensembles.The saint, who lived during the reign of Constantine the Great, was a member of the imperial cavalry stationed near Amiens, in Gaul. Coming upon a...
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El Greco

View of Toledo

€37.00
In this, his greatest surviving landscape, El Greco portrays the city he lived and worked in for most of his life. The painting belongs to the tradition of emblematic city views, rather than a faithful documentary description. The view of the eastern section of Toledo from the north would have excluded the cathedral, which the artist therefore...
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