This year is the 400th anniversary of El Greco’s death but his works can feel shockingly modern. Jason Farago examines how his works influenced Manet, Cézanne, Picasso and Pollock.
BBC.com–Few artists stick out from the standard tale of western painting more pointedly than El Greco, the great outlier of the late 16th Century. Deeply religious, passionately single-minded, he merged the art traditions of three different countries and found his own unsettling painterly language, one that took a very long time to find its most receptive audience.
Flip through the pages of a textbook or wander through the permanent collection of a major museum and you can sometimes fool yourself that art history is a clear and predictable progression, one style and one century inevitably giving way to the next. But art history, we know, isn’t nearly so simple, and El Greco, like few other painters, gives the great delight of seeing that story disrupted and contradicted.
Mary Tompkins Lewis writes for the Wall Street Journal–Spain is awash with commemorations of the fourth centenary of the death of its adopted son, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, the artist better known as El Greco. An exhibition at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, “El Greco’s Library,” on view through June 29, explores the relationship between the texts El Greco collected and his own erudite art. This summer, “El Greco and Modern Painting,” also at the Prado (from June 24 through Oct. 5), will chart the painter’s rediscovery in the 19th century and his influence on vanguard artists from Edouard Manet to Francis Bacon and beyond.
From the Spanish tourism office, Spain.info–The year 2014 Spain marks the fourth centenary of El Greco’s death with a wide-ranging programme of exhibitions and cultural activities to highlight the painting and the person of Doménikos Theotokópoulos. Toledo, the city where El Greco spent 37 years of his life, will be at the heart of this major event. Four hundred years later, El Greco returns to Toledo. More…
Toledo is one of the Spanish cities with the greatest wealth of historic monuments, with the added delight that they are the product of three cultures, the Christians, Arabs and Jews who lived together peacefully here for centuries. So behind its walls Toledo preserves a powerful artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues, all with their own stock of priceless art treasures. The cathedral boasts El Greco’s The Disrobing of Christ, but the the main attraction here is his painting of The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, which hangs in the church of Santo Tomei.
Madrid’s Prado Museum, housing one of the world’s great art collections, is particularly rich in the work of European masters–“…paintings loved by painters,” someone has said. It includes works by Velázquez, El Greco, Goya, Titian, Rubens and many more. Traditionally the building was capable of displaying some 900 works but, after the enlargement directed by Spanish architect, Rafael Moneo, in 2007 that number has risen to 1,150 paintings, out of a total of some 8,600 in the museum’s vaults. More…