Great Artists – El Greco

El Greco is one of the most distinctive Spanish old masters from the Renaissance period. His real name was Domenikos Theotocopoulos but he became known in his adopted country, Spain, as El Greco, or The Greek.

Born in Crete in 1541 , El Greco came to Toledo just outside the capital Madrid in 1577 to paint an altarpiece in a local convent.

He settled in the city painting religious portraits and alter pieces for other churches.

Although trained in Italy and influenced by masters such as Tintoretto his works are closely identified to the city where he settled. He died in Toledo in 1616.

El Greco
El Greco

He is best known for tortuously elongated figures, vivid colours, and often fantastic pigmentation , marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting

He fell out of favour for several centuries but gained new appreciation again in the 20th century.

In Spain a stunning selection of his works are displayed. In Toledo’s magnificent cathedral, in a museum bearing his name in the city and in the Prado Museum in Madrid.