The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters
EL GRECO also known as Domenicos Theotokopoulos
Visionary Greek Mannerist Painter
Education - studied under Titian
Cause of Death - drowning
Mannerist painting example - Saint Martin and the Beggar, c. 1597, by El Greco
works that introduced him to Spain, Christ Stripped of His Garments on
Calvary, El Greco has freed himself from Titian,
and now seems as a savage entering the world of art with impetuous
primeval power. He displays his a collection of Herculean figures
composed of real flesh and blood, of barbaric bone and marrow. The same
quality gives his painting of the Holy Trinity a primeval, brutal
grandeur. His picture in the church of San Tome in Toledo, in which
members of a knightly order solemnly attend the funeral of count Orgaz,
whose corpse is lowered into a grave by two saints, while Christ, Mary,
martyrs, and angels hover in the air, this penetrating painting in its
abrupt union of actual with transcendental, already heralds the
visionary painting of the seventeenth century. His later works are
uncanny, ghostly paintings of exaggerated line and harsh color; which
seem executed in was colors mingled with the mould of corpses. In all
respects he seems a strange titanic master; and not until more is known
of his life will he stand revealed as an artist. -- Richard Muther, The History of Modern Painting,
Henry and Co., London, 1896
El Greco was born as Domenikos Theotokopoulos in the picturesque village of Fodele on the island of Crete .
was finically shrewd and lived the life of the nobiliy. Along
with his beautiful young mistress and son, he lived in a sumptuous
house in Toledo and entertained internationally acclaimed writers,
artist and poets. El Greco is one of the few artists who died a wealthy
The name mannerism comes from the Italian maniera, which translates to 'style'.
Mannerism is an artistic style that surfaced after the Sack of Rome on May 6 1527, when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor descended upon Rome raping, plundering and massacring. Many great artworks were destroyed or carted off. This senseless slaughter unhinged Renaissance confidence, humanism and way of thinking to the core. The style originated in Rome and later widened to all of Europe. Mannerists paintings are characterized by elongated limbs, thin aquiline noses, overly stylized figures, undersized heads, electrifying, vibrant colors and elaborately mannered, theatrical compositions. According to Renaissance scholar John C. Van Dyke "They produced large, crowded compositions, with a hasty facility of the brush and striking effects of light. Seeking the grand they overshot the temperate. Their elegance was affected, their sentiment forced, their brilliancy superficial glitter. When they thought to be ideal they lost themselves in incomprehensible allegories; when they thought to be real they grew prosaic in detail. These men are known in art history as the Mannerists, and the men whose works they imitated were chiefly Raphael, Michael Angelo, and Correggio. "
The Mannerists in Italy worked on generous commission for a restricted audience of Vatican powerbrokers and royalty. The subjects they were allowed to portray was controlled and restricted to biblical themes, portraiture and occasionally mythology. El Greco said to hell with the money went off to Spain to pursue his own amazing vision
Characteristics of the Mannerist Style
Originating in Italy, the term mannerism comes from the Italian 'maniera', which translates to 'style'. Mannerism is an artistic style that was born in the early 1500s. The style originated in Italy and later widened to all of Europe. Mannerists paintings are characterized by elongated limbs, thin aquiline noses, long tapering fingers, undersized heads, garish colors and elaborately mannered, contorted postures. The Mannerists in Italy worked on commission for a restricted audience of Vatican powerbrokers and royalty. The subjects they were allowed to portray was controlled and restricted to Biblical themes, portraits and occasionally mythology. El Greco spurned the sumptuous commissions in favor of artistic freedom went off to Spain and to pursue his own magnificent vision.
Masters of The Mannerist Style
Important Words, People, Phrases, Characteristics related to the Italian Renaissance Art Movement - rebirth, rediscovery of the classical world, City-state, Humanism, Humanist, Francesco Petrarch, Reform, The Prince, Theocracy, The Inquisition, Human Reasoning, Medici Academy, publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists, sfumato, chiaroscuro, linear perspective, Heliocentric Theory, Petrarch, Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, liberal arts, civic humanism, Verrocchio, secularism, Leonardo Bruni, Lorenzo Valla, Neo-Platonism, nominalism, Giotto, Masaccio, Botticelli, Quattrocento, vanishing point, Savonarola, oligarchy spiritually significant, illuminated manuscript, idealized biblical themes, scriptorium, emotion, illuminator, iconoclast, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, Age of Discovery, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world, mythology, realistic use of colours and light, Bonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, Gospel parables, The Blackdeath, romanticized landscapes, Christian symbolism. Paradise
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