For a list of the highest priced oil painting sold at auction, see: Top 20 Most Expensive Paintings. Recognition in Spain His first major commission was for a set of paintings for the church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo. These paintings established his reputation in the city.
He was a foreigner in his own birth land, Crete: Foreigner he was when, young icon painter-artisan, he went a little afterlike so many of his compatriots, to the still busy, still daring city of Venice, to live there, to work, to watch, and to absorb the great West at large.
Foreigner he was in Rome, whither from the Venetian lagoons his adventurous will or some other urge more material directed him - from to ?
And foreigner he remained in Spain, foreigner in Toledo, where he settled about the yearand where he died April 4th, Revealingly, he signed his pictures in Greek: And it was by Italian form of his name, Dominico Greco not even the Castilian form, Griegothat he is referred to in El Arte de la Pintura, by the painter scholar Francisco Pacheco, the Sevillian, who visited El Greco in and surely used the name by which the aged artist must have been known professionally.
Foreigner he was until the end, even beyond the end: A puzzling foreigner-ghost he was to the nineteenth-century Romanticists, who were attracted by the aura of eccentricity: Not until our own age, conscience-torn and foreign to itself, was full and exalted citizenship given to him: The twentieth-century view of El Greco is encapsulated in widely read essay published in by Aldous Huxley: Like the Post-Impressionists three centuries later, El Greco used natural objects as the raw material out of which, by a process of calculated objects as the raw material out of which, by a process of calculated distortion, he might create his own world of pictorial forms in pictorial space under pictorial illumination.
Within this private universe he situated his religious subject matter, using it as a vehicle for expressing what he wanted to say about life. For one thing, we can now identify a small group of icons he painted in his native Crete, prior to his move to Venice in The opinions he voices must be read against the works, but also understood in the context of late sixteenth-century debates about the nature and function of art.
El Greco was in Rome from tobut the contacts he established with other artists remain nebulous: What can be said is that, despite a letter of introduction to the powerful Farnese family, his paintings seem to have met with no more success in Rome than they had in Venice.
He received no major commissions, and his work was confined to modestly scaled devotional paintings and portraits. These were not auspicious beginnings for his career in Spain, where he moved in In Madrid, his bid for royal patronage from Philip II failed.
For his austere retreat at El Escorial, Philip wanted clearly decipherable pictures that advertised his orthodoxy, not paintings that celebrated artistic genius. Only in Toledo, where he received two major commissions, did El Greco meet with the success an artist of his caliber might have expected.
It was in this ancient city, which El Greco immortalized in one of the most celebrated landscapes in Western art, that he found, at last, a sympathetic circle of intellectual friends and patrons and forged a highly profitable career.
In Toledo he became the artist we have come to admire, and we need hardly be surprised to learn from his contemporary, Francisco de Pisa - whose portrait he may have painted - that, then as now no visitor to the city failed to go to the church of Santo Tome to admire The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.
Toledo may have been far removed from the artistic ferment of Rome, but it was no bastion against the forces - cultural as well as artistic - that were to shape the art of the seventeenth century.
It comes as something of a shock to realize that, when El Greco died inCaravaggio and Annibale Carracci - the creators of the new Baroque style - had been buried for four and five years, respectively.
In Diego Velazquezthe presiding genius of seventeenth-century Spain, was apprenticed to Francisco Pacheco in Seville. Pacheco, whose curriculum of study formed the young Velazquez, visited El Greco in his studio in Toledo in and recorded seeing the plaster, wax and clay figures from which El Greco worked.
He did not approve of this method, which El Greco had doubtless learned from Tintoretto in Venice: Pacheco advocated a real human figure rather than something modeled in clay. In the present age of secularism, this is nothing short of miraculous.
However, in his indispensable study of the profound changes of taste, fashion and collecting in nineteenth-century France and England - Rediscoveries in Art - Francis Haskell reminded us: Those worlds had one thing in common:Each film recommended to be shown in its entirety is a work of art that stimulates thinking while it entertains.
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Awarded the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize by Texas A and M University Over the past decade. Metamorphoses (from Greek μετά meta and μορφή morphē, meaning "changes of shape"), is a Latin narrative poem in fifteen books describing the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework.