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El Greco

  • El Greco © P. Rotger/Iberfoto

    El Greco © P. Rotger/Iberfoto






Date of birth


Date of death


" Painter. One of the great universal masters, he was a forerunner of pictorial abstraction and influenced the 20th-century avant-garde movements."

Doménikos Theotokópoulos was born in Candia (Crete) in 1541. He lived on the island until the age of 26, where he was highly regarded as a painter of icons in the post-Byzantine style. He lived for ten years in Italy, during which time he became a Renaissance painter; first in Venice, where he fully assimilated the style of Titian, and then in Rome, where he came into contact with the Mannerist style of Michelangelo. In 1577 he settled in Toledo, where he lived and worked the rest of his life. Throughout the 37 years El Greco lived in this city, his art underwent a profound evolution. During the first stage he remained faithful to his Italian sources, but towards 1600, there was an intensification of the artificial and unreal elements of his work, which became fundamentally anti-naturalist and neo-Platonic. He died in Toledo in 1614.

Essential works

  • ‘The Adoration of the Shepherds’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    Adoration of the Shepherds

    This is one of El Greco’s most important later works.

    Prado Museum (Madrid)

    More info
  • ‘The Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    The Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest

    This masterpiece of the Spanish Renaissance is one of El Greco’s best known works. It is remarkable for its expressive gaze and the naturalness of the gesture of the hand.

    Prado Museum (Madrid)

    More info
  • ‘The Holy Trinity’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    The Trinity

    This is one of El Greco’s first commissions in Toledo, and perfectly combines the concepts of drawing and colour.

    Prado Museum (Madrid)

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  • Portrait of his son Jorge Manuel. Seville Museum of Fine Arts © Ministerio de Cultura

    Portrait of his son Jorge Manuel

    This excellent portrait by El Greco is also a unique and outstanding work within the artist's production, as it is an important testimony to his family life.

    Seville Museum of Fine Arts (Seville)

    More info
  • The Saviour. El Greco Museum. Toledo © David Blázquez

    The Saviour

    The portrait of Christ the Saviour heads one of the most unusual series of the late production of El Greco: the Apostolate series

    El Greco Museum (Toledo)

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Other highlighted works

  • The burial of the Count of Orgaz
  • The Disrobing of Christ
  • Christ clasping the cross


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