Thursday, June 30, 2011

El Greco's Light

Haunting and strange elongated figures writhe against backdrops of ominous clouds. Saints, apostles and Spanish noblemen inhabit the canvases of El Greco. Their pale flesh gives the impression of another world - a moon-lit realm where Heaven and Earth touch.

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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Toledo, Spain


  1. I love El Greco! Thanks for the post. The young woman featured in the photograph is also stunningly beautiful! I think I will go back to my El Greco books again.

  2. Hi, I love also the work of El Greco! Beautiful. I once was in a museum in Amsterdam and could not come lose of his great pictures. I was hanging out there for an hour and the suppost was watching me. Later I told him that I was totaly confused of his master pieces. And he agreed. I will follow your blog with pleasure. I'm Dutch and live in France for a part of the year. I'm writing about our lovely region. Be welcome on my blog too. Bye, Lilian