Dhomínikos Theotokópoulos dit Le Greco

1541 (Candie (Crète)) / 1614 (Tolède)

El Greco, born in 1541 in Crete, then under the control of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, received his first training as a painter of Byzantine icons, then left for Venice in 1568. Two years in the studios of Titian and Tintoretto enabled him to master the techniques of colour. From there he went to Rome, where he assiduously frequented the circles of Mannerist artists around Michelangelo. He then left for the Spanish court, but as his first commissions for the Escorial Palace were not approved by King Philip II, nor his Holy Alliance nor his Martyrdom of Saint Mauritius, he retired to Toledo, a very refined city at the time, with a mixture of Jewish and Muslim cultures, and he remained there until the end of his life in 1614. His work shows his highly composite pictorial training with the greatest artists of his time and an astonishing singularity in the whole history of Spanish painting, for El Greco is really the only one to establish such a synthesis between East and West.

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