El Greco (painter)

   El Greco, or Domenicos Theotocopoulos, 1541—1614, was a Cretan painter, identified with Spain, born near Candia on the isle of Crete. Nothing is known of his life until the mention of his name in a letter written in Rome in 1570. Judging from his work, it would seem he had also lived in Venice, for it shows the influence of Venetian painters like titian, Tintoretto, and Jacopo Bassano. By 1577 he was in Toledo, Spain, where he produced his greatest work and became famous. Here he was commonly known as El Greco (The Greek). In 1586 he painted "The Burial of Count Orgaz," which is generally considered not only his masterpiece but one of the world's greatest paintings. His "Toledo in a Storm" (painted, it is supposed, between 1600—1610 and now in the Metro­politan Museum) is equaled in power and suggestion by few landscape paintings. El Greco lived a life of great frugality; it is said that of 24 rooms placed at his disposal in a palace he used only one. He has come to his greatest recognition in modern times, and there are few artists of the last 80 years who have not been affected by him at one time or another. Due perhaps to Byzantine influences, he could express the essential spirit of things, and his beautiful sense of rhythm, his color, which modulates gradually from the somber to the brilliant, and the deep significance he gives to an attitude or the position of a hand have seldom been approached by other painters before or since his time.

The Burial of Count Orgaz

The Burial of Count Orgaz by El Greco