El Greco By Nick Michaud


El Greco was born in Candia, Crete in 1541. His real name was Doménikos Theotokópoulos. He spent most of his life in Toledo, Spain but traveled all over the world before settling down in Toledo. El Greco was born into the middle class in Crete and was able to secure a high education. He then traveled to Venice and tutored under Titian. Greco had a lavish lifestyle traveling often and had a huge home with lots of rooms and spent lots of money on delicacies. El Greco made paintings including but not limited to the Martyrdom of Saint Maurice, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, The Trinity throughout his life. Some patrons of his were Philip II, Luis de Castilla, and Pedro Chacón, the spanish church. Idealism and perspectivism applied to much of his art. Idealism because many of his painting dealt with the mind and religion probably because of all of the religious art surrounding his town as a child. Perspectivism was commonly used in his pictures with lots of detail on the background.

El Greco's work

View of Toledo

My favorite piece of art by El Greco was called View of Toledo. This piece was created from 1596 to 1900. This piece of art can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This picture is significant because it was a new type of art deemed unsuiable to be painted or drawn, the landscape. The picture goes against everything his patrons told him not to do but El Greco created the piece anyway. El Greco's View of Toledo was one of the first landscapes and he revolutionized the genre. This piece shows the view of the town of Toledo, Spain from the distance. The buildings are not in their right places except for the church. The painting is painted in dark colors and the sky gives the impression of an impending storm. The town looks dark and desolate as if it is about to go through a battle or a great trial. The town is not the main point, rather the emphasis is put on the scenery and sky. Perspectivism is the ism that most applies to this piece because the detail is all in the background of the picture with size differences as you get farther back and bigger as you are closer to the depicted item/building. This picture was very different from most of his other works which almost all were focused on people rather than places or objects. It caught my eye and interested me to see why El Greco would change his most common style to do a landscape disapproved of in the painting world. Reading on the true meaning of the picture was very interesting too. http://www.metmuseum.org


"El Greco." Authors and Artists for Young Adults, vol. 64, Gale, 2005. Gale Biography In Context, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GPS&sw=w&u=bedf0311&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CK1603001383&asid=c1da04831485634280424e6e07e67c2e. Accessed 4 Dec. 2016.

El Greco, View of Toledo, 1596-1600, oil on canvas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Zappella, Christine. "Khan Academy." Khan Academy. Khan Academy, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2016.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.