El Greco – part 1
Doménikos Theotokópoulos (Aka El Greco) was born in 1541 in Heraklion Crete which was then under Venetian rule, and Heraklion was called Candia and was the capital of the island. Family members of El Greco, was Christian Orthodox and his father, George, was a shutters manufacturer. The economic situation of the family allowed Domeniko, who from an early age had presented artistic trends, apprenticed to George Klontzas’ laboratory. Near Klontzas he cultivated his talent and made paintings with topics from the Christian faith.
At the age of 26, in 1567, he left Crete and settled in Venice. In the city of Doges, he meets and works with major artists through contact with the workshop of Titian. The works he painted in Venice, although still depict religious themes, are moving slowly away from the Byzantine influences of the painter and driven to the Venetian style. During the same period, El Greco began using oil in his paintings, abandoning the temperas he used in Crete. In Venice besides many acquaintances he also did some sales.
After Venice he went to Parma, Florence and finally Rome where he settled in 1570. El Greco was now 29 years old and among the people he met in the eternal city, was Cardinal Farnese. Six years he remained in Rome painting and studying colleagues works including those of Michelangelo. In him, El Greco recognizes a very capable architect and sculptor but simultaneously an unacceptable painter. This view of his was expressed in front of the Pope Gregory the 13th. This resulted in losing the favor offered him by Cardinal Farnese.
In Spain he uses the alias “El Greco”, which would eventually become known worldwide. But this is something that has not happened yet. Currently, El Greco is a Greek painter who has just arrived in Toledo. In the city he undertakes to paint six performances that will be the mural behind the altar of the church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo.
This article is for www.leedscanvas.com