El Greco at Grand Palais 2020
Doménikos Theotokópoulos, known as El Greco, is undeniably one of the most original painters in the history of art. His unique style has given rise to many often-outlandish theories. He has been cast as a madman, a heretic and a mystic. His bold palette has even led some to suggest he suffered from astigmatism. The truth is less romantic… but no less fascinating. His extraordinary career, which took him from Crete to Venice, Rome and finally Toledo, and stubborn defence of his artistic vision made him, by sheer force of talent, one of the great masters of the Renaissance and, much later, the prophet of modernity.
Born in Crete in 1541, El Greco undertook his initial apprenticeship in the Byzantine tradition before refining his training in Venice and then Rome. However, it was in Spain that his art flourished, firmly taking root from the 1577s. Attracted by the incredible promise of the El Escorial site, the artist brought Titian’s colour, Tintoretto’s audacity and Michelangelo’s heroic style. This eloquent combination, original yet consistent with his own way, gave El Greco (who died four years after Caravaggio) a unique place in the history of painting, as the last grand master of the Renaissance and the first great painter of the Golden Age.
El Greco at Grand Palais it’s the first major exhibition in France ever to be dedicated to this artist.
Rediscovered in the late 19th century, celebrated by authors, acknowledged and embraced by the 20th century avant-garde, the artist has enjoyed the dual prestige of tradition and modernity, linking Titian to the Fauvists and Mannerism to Cubism, Expressionism, Vorticism and Abstraction up to the Action painting.
Exhibition is co-organised by the Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais, the Musée du Louvre and the Art Institute of Chicago.