Through February 1, 2015, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art features sixteen brilliant masterpieces of El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos). The exhibition “El Greco in New York,” which apotheosizes the grand artistic footprint of the extraordinary Greek painter, marks four hundred years after his death and includes ten paintings from the Metropolitan Museum and other six lent from the Hispanic Society of America. The exhibit is supplemented with three more paintings from the Frick Collection on display for the first time, only a few blocks away.
Theotokopoulos was born in Crete, Greece, in 1541, living most of his life in Italy and Spain until his death in Toledo in 1614. Crete (a part of the Republic of Venice at that time) has been a great influence on him, expressed through his ‘blossom’ as an icon painter of Post-Byzantine art with many references to Byzantium’s monkish mysticism, an element that had been steadily delivered in his later works.
After becoming a discipline of Titian in Venice, he moved to Rome, where he studied anatomy. Although he adopted many elements of Mannerism and Venetian Renaissance during his stay in Italy, he never accepted Michelangelo’s artistic ability because he was still opposed to the celebration of the body being expressed during the Renaissance. The appreciation that he sought as an artist was finally found in Toledo, where he settled for the rest of his life.
Famous for his religious elongated figures and fantastic coloring, with a thorough influence on modern art, El Greco constitutes one of the most distinguished European artists. His fragile but fully expressive figures placed in specific constructed places, the bright colors used to create splendid visionary effects, as well as the psychological drama that he depicted in his paintings, have inspired modern artists such as Beckmann, Kokoschka, Manet, Delacroix, Picasso, Cézanne, Pollock, German Expressionists and Abstract Expressionists.
“El Greco in New York”
Through February 1
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, tel (212) 535-7710
European Paintings, Gallery 608, 2nd floor
Open 7 Days a Week: November-February (10:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.), Closed December 25 and January 1
Admission: Adults $25.00, seniors (65 and over) $17.00, students $12.00
Members and children under 12 accompanied by adult free of charge