El greco


When talking about Spanish art, it is impossible not to bring to the present one of the first men who undoubtedly made great contributions to it, known as “el Greco” ; man who made great pieces of art that decorate museums and churches around the world.


Personal information

  • When was he born:  10/01/1541
  • Where he was born:  Heraklion, Greece
  • When he died:  04/07/1614
  • Where he died:  Toledo, Spain

Who was El Greco?

Domenicos Thotocopoulos better known as “el Greco” was a painter who ended up living most of his life in Spain . This within his technique as a painter managed to mix various European techniques and styles in order to establish his own style where he managed to capture great sentimentality , a mysticism that generated uncertainty , which caused a hungry curiosity  in his viewers.


Biography of El Greco

El Greco was born on the first day of October 1541 in Crete , in that same place his basic level of art study was formed in the Post Byzantine school and it is there that he develops his love for art , until at 26 years of age. age decides to travel to Spain for no reason whatsoever, a country in which he progressively lives for the rest of his life.  


In this country he settled first in Madrid, to study in depth various styles of arts from Italy and other nations , to later settle definitively in Toledo, being this place where he began to create his works of art for churches.


Domenico Thotocopoulos, died at 73 years of age in Toledo , the city that rooted him in this way since his arrival and in which he lived most of his life and in which he developed in an artistic way , becoming a renowned painter.


According to the people who knew him in life closely, they described him as someone who was of active nature , who liked to maintain an extravagant lifestyle , however, it was a very steep lifestyle since he spent more than Income generated, in turn I always seek to fight the establishment of the profession of painter as an established and judicially supported work.

Physical characteristics

El Greco was a man who had all the physical characteristics of Greek men. This was thick in complexion, with a very whitish skin at first but was gradually tanned by the sun, he reached the height of 1.71 and his hair was dark brown.


Within its tecina the use of main and secondary elements interposed between them is included, where the secondary ones surrounded the main element in order to establish all the central action in the protagonist and in this way not to divert attention to other secondary points of the play. They worked with intense but matte colors , where the central element is colored while the rest are darkened.

El Greco style

All his works are embodied in canvases for church altarpieces, he kept alive the Italian style of painting where he sought to carry the Catholic message in the most direct way possible where people who saw the works felt identified.


This artist is recognized as one of the artists who developed solely and exclusively within the area of painting at the end of the Renaissance, which managed to develop a unique style camouflaged under other predominant styles in Europe . Likewise, it is recognized as the fundamental pillar for later artists who created pieces of art where the central theme was Christ.


Among the most outstanding works of El Greco are:

  • The Holy Trinity made in 1577 and is in the Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain.
  • The Adoration of the Name of Jesus made in the late 1570s and is in the National Gallery in London.
  • The Espolio made in 1579 and is located in the Cathedral of Toledo, Spain.
  • The Burial of Count Orgaz made in 1586 which is in the Church of Santo Tomé in Toledo, Spain.
  • Laocoon made in 1610 which is in the National Gallery of Washington, United States .
  • The adoration of the shepherds made in 1614 and is in the Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain.


El Greco was always surrounded by high society , especially among politicians , which made his name and his works even more popular. This resulted in him always seeking to maintain a high life status which at times he could barely afford.


  • His father was Georgios Theotopokolus.
  • His mother was Zaria Papadopoulos.


His only son was Manoussos Theotokopoulos


  • ” The unity of composition is so perfect that all interest is absorbed within a work of art by the figure of Christ.”
  • ” Everything that is not the protagonist is darkened and lowered, while Christ lights up and stands out.”
  • ” Everything that is not the protagonist is darkened and lowered, while Christ who is everything, lights up among all and stands out for who he is.”

Importance of El Greco

El Greco was of great importance within Spanish art , since this was a painter who managed to establish the first bases for what would be Spanish paintings with religious themes , specifically Catholic.

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