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St. Bernardino of Siena

  • Saint Bernardino of Siena. El Greco Museum. Toledo © Museo Nacional del Prado

    Saint Bernardino of Siena. El Greco Museum. Toledo © Museo Nacional del Prado

     
  

Category

Painting

Date

1602

Artist

El Greco

Cultural background

Mannerism

Original title

San Bernardino de Siena
El Greco Museum
Toledo
Toledo, Castile-La Mancha
Toledo

This is an example of the work El Greco’s received as creator of altarpieces in Toledo. It is one of the most important depictions of saints from the painter's late period.

In these compositions El Greco stressed the verticality of the image by using a point of view that highlighted the cloudscape. The saint is barefoot, clothed in a simple habit of the Franciscan order, and dominates the landscape. At his feet are three bishop’s mitres that represent the bishoprics of Siena, Ferrara and Urbino, which he renounced as a gesture of humility. In one hand he holds a book that refers to his work as a preacher, which made him one of the most cherished characters of his time.

The altarpiece of San Bernardino was commissioned by Juan Bravo de Acuña and Luis de Beluga in 1603 for the chapel of the former San Bernardino University College in Toledo.
 

Details of the work

Object
Painting

Dimensions
Height = 270.2 cm; Width = 144.2 cm; Depth = 3 cm

Technique
Oil

Material
Canvas

  

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