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Artists El Greco

El Greco

Greek-Spanish Painter, Sculptor, and Architect

El Greco Photo
Movement: Mannerism

Born: October 1, 1541 - Crete, Greece

Died: April 7, 1614 - Toledo, Spain

"You must study the Masters but guard the original style that beats within your soul and put to sword those who would try to steal it."

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El Greco's life and work were marked by a deep underlying devotion to God. Compelled as a young man to become an artist, he mastered a longstanding tradition of Byzantine icon art, yet by the time he eventually settled in Spain his inspiration was largely drawn from the burgeoning Italian and Spanish Renaissances. Although his early ambitions were to become a court painter, his individual style that began to emerge in Spain quickly catapulted him from the confines of any conventional school. He became vastly interested in the new Mannerist movement, a group who disavowed the mere imitation of nature in art, and instead sought to express the underlying psychological aspects of a work beyond its mythological or religious themes. These concepts informed a body of work that is deeply evocative of the Divine and universally noted for manifesting the spirituality that lay beneath all being.

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