El Greco (born Domenicos Theotocopoulos, 1541-1614) was born on the Greek island of Crete, then a Venetian colony, and went as a youth to Venice, where he began by painting icons in the Byzantine style for the Greek community there. He soon succumbed to the powerful influences of Titian, Tintoretto and, later, Michelangelo. In 1576, El Greco went to Spain, settling in Toledo, where he spent the rest of his life--producing the depictions of the Toledan landscape that are justly among his best-loved works. El Greco's art aimed to arouse religious fervor in its viewers: consequently his brushwork is ecstatically free, color is used expressively and figures are elongated to maximum tension by their emphatic gestures. His work brings a great age of Christian art to its close. With 108 full-color illustrations, including all of his best-known and most characteristic works, this volume offers the reader a wide overview of the work of one of the world's most innovative painters.
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