El Greco, 1541 - 1614

Doménikos Theotokópoulos, El Greco was a painter, architect and sculptor of the Spanish Renaissance. He was born in Crete, so his nickname El Greco (The Greek) was a reference to his Greek origin. He’s a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism and influenced artists in poetry and literature.

El Greco is best known of elongated figures and phantasmagorical pigmentation, mixing Western painting with Byzantine traditions.

El entierro del señor de Orgaz by el Greco
El entierro del señor de Orgaz, 1586 - 1588

Masterpiece

El caballero de la mano en el pecho, 1578 - 1580

El caballero de la mano en el pecho by el Greco detailTranslated into English as The Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest, is an oil painting painted in Toledo around 1580.

This one is just a piece of a series of portraits of unknown gentlemen, dressed in black and wearing white ruffs. It’s the most famous one. Some authors suggest it may be a portrait of Juan de Silva or maybe a self-portrait.

It shows the distinctive style of El Greco with that long figure, the big but thin hand and the dark colours making up a great and dignified picture.


La crucifixión by el Greco
La crucifixión, 1597 - 1600