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Doménikos Theotokópoulos (El Greco)

Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος-Κρής

1541-1614 born Crete/Spain-Mannerism


Brief Biography-Doménikos Theotokópoulos was from Candia in Crete; little is known of his life in Crete except that he started his painting career there. The Spaniards later nicknamed El Greco, The Greek, as they found it difficult to pronounce his name.
In 1567, he moved to Venice to further his career. Most Greek painters emigrated to Venice, as it was the political capital. During his two years stay in Venice, Titian tutored him. He went to Rome in 1572 and got introduced to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who granted him a place in his palace. While in Rome, conjecture had it that Pope Pious V asked El Greco to cover Michelangelo's Last Judgement figures with loincloths; El Greco suggested painting over the frescos to paint new ones. Hence the outrage of other artists in Rome was why he left for Spain. However, some do not accept this theory as El Greco did not do frescos. They say Spanish clergy members encouraged him to move to Toledo.
Diego de Castilla, Dean of Cannons at Toledo Cathedral, gave him commissions on his arrival in Spain. He was to remain in Toledo for the rest of his life. He soon had a son, Jorge Manuel, who became a painter. El Greco established friendships with the city’s intellectuals, scholars, and preachers. He received commissions for all the leading churches in the town. However, his work never received royal approval from Philip II, but he painted portraits of Spanish nobles and commissions for religious institutions.
He lived somewhat above his means, and other artists saw him as flashy and pretentious. El Greco saw the status of successful artists as higher than was accorded to artists in Spain instead of at an equal level to Italian artists. He took several lawsuits against patrons, demanding extra payments. Later, Dominico carved away much of his wealth on excessive expenditure. When he died in 1614, they interred him in a vault in the church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo. Unfortunately, his son Jorge Manuel did not complete works on the church to pay for it, and El Greco’s remains, which got taken to the monastery of San Torcuato, were destroyed.
The Spanish painter and writer Antonio Palomino wrote of Dominico Greco (Scholars did not call him El Greco until after his death). ‘There are of his works in Toledo, but when he found that his paintings often pass’d as Titian’s, he took it in his Head to change his Manner, to such a Degree of Extravagance that his Works became despicable and ridiculous as well for the Irregularity and Dislocation of the Design, as the Disagreeableness of the Colouring.’



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saint martin and
the beggar

saint martin and the beggar

saint peter
in tears

saint peter in tears

self portrait
in old age

self portrait in old age

the assumption
of the virgin

the assumption of the virgin

the burialof
count orgaz

the burialof count orgaz

A Cardinal

A Cardinal

Adoration of
the shepherds

Adoration of the Shepherds

a boy with
a candle

Boy With a Candle

of christ

Disrobing of Christ


The Crucifixion


Immaculate Conception

Lady in Fur

Lady in Fur Wrap

adoration of
the magi

adoration of the magi

portrait of
giulio clovio

portrait of giulio clovio

the modena

the modena triptych

holy trinity

the holy trinity

saint francis
receiving stigmata

saint francis receiving stigmata

the martyrdom
of saint maurice

the martyrdom of saint maurice


A View of Toledo


Allegory of the Camadolese Order



Baptism of Christ

The Baptism of Christ The Modena Tryptich

Jeronimo de

Jeronimo de Cevallos


Fray Hortensio Felix Paravicino y Arteaga

Louis King
of France

Louis The King of France with a Page

The Fifth

Fifth Seal of the Apocalypse

Nobleman with

Nobleman with Hand on his Chest


Mary Magdalen in Penitence

Adoration of
the Name

The Adoration of the Name of Jesus

Saint Jerome
as Cardinal


Saint Sebastian


Saint Veronica Holding the Veil


Saint Ildefonso

The Holy

The Holy Family with Saint Ann

The Last

The Last Supper


The Trinity


The Visitation


Vincenzo Anastagi


saint joseph