Domenico Theotokopolous, better known as "El Greco" or "The Greek" spent most of his career in the little town of Toledo in Castille, Spain.
Since Toledo is close to Madrid, Nicole and I took a day trip to Toledo to see the El Greco House/Museum. Many of his important religious and civic works are here.
El Greco has become one of my favorite artists - fusing together the Byzantine iconography that he learned in his native Crete, and Venetian painting, which influenced him during his years in Italy. He is a truly spiritual painter, re-creating space and reality in a way that is sublime yet believable.
One can clearly see the intensity of Byzantine icons in the faces that he paints, and the saturated color and sensuality of the Venetian masters.
Although he faded into obscurity during his lifetime, he was rediscovered and celebrated by the Romanticists and other movements of the 19th century. El Greco was innovative beyond his time, and he planted a seed that would bear fruit centuries after his death - I myself am among the fruits of his influence.
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