The Life and Legacy of El Greco The Painter

Domenikos Theotokopoulos, commonly known as El Greco the painter was a Renaissance painter, sculptor, and architect born in 1541 in Crete (then a part of the Republic of Venice).

El Greco paintings are characterized by their emotive intensity, elongated figures, and vibrant use of colour. According to him, colour was more important than the form. His work influenced Expressionism and Cubism. Art historian Max Dvořák describes him as a precursor of mannerism and anti-naturalism.

El Greco Painting Style

El Greco the painter created ‘View of Toledo’ between 1596 and 1600. In the Toledo Painting El Greco depicts the city, perched on a hill, bathed in an otherworldly light (vivid blues, blacks, and white) contrasting the green scenery. He wanted to describe Toledo as a city on a rise to heaven, adding to the emotional and spiritual impact of the painting.

View of Toledo Painting El Greco

El Greco most famous painting, ‘The Entombment of Christ’ was created between 1570 and 1576. The picture describes the scene of Jesus’ entombment. The painting mostly uses earth tones ( a combination of brown, beiges, and muted reds) with his signature mannerisms.

El Greco Paintings Jesus - The Entombment of Christ