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El Greco

Life and Work - A New History

Fernando Marias (Author)

Logo markA Thames & Hudson book


An authoritative account of the life and work of El Greco, one of the world's most influential and inimitable creative spirits

Domenikos Theotokopoulos, known to us as El Greco, was one of the seminal figures of the Spanish Golden Age. Born in Crete in 1541 under Venetian rule, raised in the iconographic traditions of Byzantine art, and acquainted with both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic practice, El Greco went to Venice and Rome in the late Renaissance, before seeking patronage in Spain at the court of Philip II. He was a painter not only of religious subjects, but also of idiosyncratic portraits executed in his own uniquely lively and immediate style. He spent approximately half his life in Toledo, a city with which his name has become indelibly linked, although he was never fully accepted there and had a reputation as an opinionated and disputatious outsider.

All this and more is detailed in this magnificent, richly illustrated book, which reproduces many recently cleaned and restored paintings, revealing hitherto unknown facets of his work. Fernando Marías looks behind the manifold and often conflicting myths about El Greco’s life and art and seeks the truth about the man and his extraordinary talent for invention.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • November 2013
  • ISBN 978-0-500-09377-1
  • 11 × 12.5 in / 352 pages
  • Sales Territory: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

Endorsements & Reviews

“Indispensible for serious students of El Greco, a painter whose life and art have been seen in very disparate ways over the centuries. . . . Of particular significance are some 20,000 words in El Greco’s own hand, annotating the writings of Vitruvius and Vasari. . . . Essential.” — Choice

“[A] welcome new monograph.” — The New York Review of Books