Museums and Art

Biography and paintings of El Greco

Biography and paintings of El Greco

Domenico Teotocopouli (El Greco for simplicity, this Spanish artist began to call himself so much later) was born in 1541 in Crete. The artist announced the date and place of birth himself, however, it can easily be incorrect, since almost nothing is known about the first 25 years of the artist. He was born (again, presumably) in a wealthy family of a tax collector and could well get a good education. The desire to comprehend a new El Greco carried throughout his life: in the biography of this Spanish artist, you can read that he was familiar with the greatest scientists of his time, and after himself left a large (for his time) library of books in several languages.

In 1568, the artist moved from Crete to Venice, where he probably studied under Titian. From Venice, El Greco moves to Rome, settles with Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, actively draws. But Rome turned out to be small in order for El Greco's talent to unfold at full power, so the artist leaves for Spain.

In Toledo, the artist was immediately appreciated: the altar image of the Assumption of the Theotokos, the Removal of Clothes from Christ for the Cathedral. In Toledo, however, El Greco started a family, however, he could not do it officially. At least there are no records that Jerome de las Cuevas was the wife of El Greco. But there is a record that the couple had a son and a lot of documentary evidence that El Greco was constantly dissatisfied with his work, sued customers, or they were with him. The church, the largest customer of El Greco's works, was often dissatisfied with the work of the artist, believing that his work was not strict enough and Orthodox. As a result, El Greco became cramped in Toledo too and he turned his eyes to Escorial, a monastery-palace built near Madrid. For this monastery, El Greco wrote the Martyrdom of St. Mauritius. However, the king of Spain Philip II did not accept the canvas, the narrowness of his worldview prevented the king from appreciating the artist’s plan. This was a blow to El Greco, crippled physically, mentally and financially.

El Greco died in poverty. The remains of the artist are lost. By his own death, the artist proved that the body is nothing, but the work and soul are immortal.


Watch the video: Great Artists - El Greco (November 2021).