Wednesday, May 5, 2010
With a name like that, you might think I'm writing about another Greek friend. Not so. If he were a friend, he'd be about 400 years old. Actually, it was the Spaniards with their penchant for nicknames that referred to him as "El Greco," (the Greek).
El Greco (1541-1614)was born on the island of Crete and received extensive art training in both Venice and Rome. Later, he moved to Spain where he lived in Toledo until his death.
Art historians have had a hard time categorizing his style. Part Renaissance, mannerism, and expressionism in style, he is considered the precursor for cubism and impressionism. From what is historically known about him, it's more than likely that what he really was a man who did not live his life or art under the strictures of the times. In his art, he believed above all in freedom of style and is quoted as considering color more important than form.
His unique style meant that his work was not highly regarded in his lifetime. It would be another 300 years before his unusual amalgam of styles and fervor were recognized and appreciated.
One of the best known of his works is titled, "The Burial of Count Orgaz" shown below. (This is a very large painting - click image for detail.)
Here are a two more of his paintings. You can see the quality of his portraits and his ability with composition. The background on the right one seems to hint of surrealism. What do you think?
Posted by R-Atencio Art at 6:20 AM