- In the year 1541, El Greco was born on the island Crete with the name Domenikos Theotokopoulos.
- The name El Greco translates from Italian to "The Greek".
- El Greco spent a large majority of his life in Spain after travelling around Italy for numerous years.
- El Greco trained as a disciple to Titian, and studied the works of Tintoretto and even Michelangelo.
- Because he disliked Michelangelo so passionately, El Greco offered to repaint the Sistine Chapel himself.
- He spent much of his lifetime travelling, learning different techniques from studying the works of other artists as El Greco moved around.
- El Greco painted, and three pieces of his work are The Adoration of the Shepherds, The Vision of Saint John, and Portrait of a Nobleman.
- El Greco had a multitude of patrons, but one notable patron is King Phillip II of Spain, who denied El Greco’s patronage due to his paintings lacking narrative clarity.
- El Greco relates to the ideas of Classicism and Humanism, as themes of it can be seen throughout his art.
Chosen Piece of Work
- The name of the piece is Saint Andrew by El Greco.
- The painting was estimated to have been created in 1610.
- This piece can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- The piece used darker colors in the background to draw attention towards the main part, Apostle Andrew.
- In the piece, a follower of Jesus known as Andrew is stood atop a hill, clad in green robes. Strapped to his back is the x-shaped cross he was crucified on, while behind him is a gloomy stormy landscape perhaps signifying something ominous soon to happen. Saint Andrew’s hand is extended as if to ask someone for their point of view/opinion.
- I feel as if this work well portrays classicism, because it makes callbacks to people and themes which existed more than a millennia prior to the creation of the painting, embodying the origins of Christianity.
- I find this piece interesting not only because the saint shares his name with me but also because his facial expression makes Andrew look like he is presenting a question and is yearning for an answer, as if he is alive behind the canvas.
El Greco. Saint Andrew. 1610. Library.artsor.org. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Spain.
OSMOND, SUSAN. "El Greco: The Earthly Transfigured." World and I, Jan. 2004, p. 92. Gale Biography In Context, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GPS&sw=w&u=bedf0311&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA111908036&it=r&asid=4126ad4b71168d6d22357782868f9c50. Accessed 5 Dec. 2016.