El Greco

El Greco paintings were highly original and inspirational and this website features a whole host of the finest El Greco paintings alongside further information on the life of the artist himself, who was originally known as Doménikos Theotokópoulos.

El Greco produced several key religious paintings during his career and this underlines the strength of religious institutions at that time who could afford expensive commissions for the most respected artists of that time.

You can also find more El Greco paintings here.

El Greco was born in Crete in 1541 and built a career which achieved in the fields of Painting, sculpture and architecture, with key paintings including El Espolio, The Assumption of the Virgin, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, View of Toledo, Opening of the Fifth Seal and The Agony in the Garden.

El Greco was in his thirties when he started to paint some of his career highlights and View of Toledo is his best known of all, covering a stylish landscape painting that depicts the city where he spent many years up to his death in 1614.

El Greco paintings are included throughout this website and alongside each are links to where to can buy your own reproduction copies, with El Greco paintings becoming increasingly popular as fixtures within homes across the world as framed art prints, posters and stretched canvases.

The links take you through to Art.com, who are our recommended art retailer and who we have used several times ourselves. The style of El Greco is typically more suitable to framed giclee art prints which recreate the original colours the most accurately.

View of Toledo, seen above, is a highly innovative painting whose style was very unusual for the time, featuring a truly emotional scene that goes far beyond just the more realist artists who dominated the first centuries after the Middle Ages where the renaissance and baroque periods were in full flow.

The most dramatic part of the painting is the aggressive sky which hangs threateningly over the cityscape of Toledo which itself is a charming city featuring some splendid, historic architecture.

El Greco is believed to have painted the above self portrait of himself and it remains one of the few images of the artist himself, as is the way for most whose careers were as long ago as the 16th century when photography and media was relatively unheard of and an artist's reputation would struggle to cross geographical boundaries except in extreme cases.

The approach of El Greco in adding more emotional elements to his paintings helped further encourage new art movements within later centuries such as Cubism and Expressionism which took the ideas of artists like El Greco and took them even further.

El Greco moved to Italy where he realised that his career could go up to a new level through exposure to other artists who were helping Italy at the time to lead the European art scene.

Besides the artists around at that time, El Greco was also able to study those who had recently gone before as their techniques offered new ideas to the Greek painter and could be easily studied from within the major religious institutions across the country at that time, with museums and galleries just something that would later appear.

Christ Crucifixion

Christ Crucifixion depicts the world famous scene of Jesus on the Cross and is an impressively original version that takes advantage of the skills of El Greco to produce a version which is amongst the best of the many thousands which have been created across the western arts world since the Middle Ages.

Previously to this, many other artists had used other techniques to recreate the same scene, with many art media that would never be seen today by 21st century artists.

Christ Crucifixion is just one of several exceptional christian-based paintings that can be found within his career, with other notable entries like Adoration of the Name of Jesus, Last Supper, Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple, Trinity, Pentecost, Resurrection and Assumption of the Virgin to name just a few.

El Greco's entry into Italy was always likely to bring about an influx of religious paintings into his portfolio although naturally, as a Greek, El Greco was already very exposed to the importance of religion within art and general society at that time.

Adoration of the Name of Jesus

Adoration of the Name of Jesus can be seen above and this is one of the most elaborate and detailed painting by El Greco who spent a considerable amount of time in creating this masterpiece which focuses on both the real world and the heavens, capturing them together in this incredible work.

There are around 30-40 figures included in Adoration of the Name of Jesus and it is there that would have taken the artist most of the time that he spent in the full completion of this painting.

El Greco's artistic style is generally classified as Mannerism and he is joined in this art movement by Tintoretto, Benvenuto Cellini, Jacopo da Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino & the School of Fontainebleau, Agnolo Bronzino and Alessandro Allori.

Mannerism came around the end of the Italian High Renaissance and El Greco was one of the later components of this style.

Following on after the end of Mannerism was the Baroque periods which became better known, with Tintoretto and El Greco probably being the most famous painters involved in the Mannerist art movement.

Saint Paul

Saint Paul is another key work from the career of El Greco and you can see that above.

El Greco was a skilled portrait painter though at this time portraits were most likely to be full-body rather than just head shots, particularly in the case of this painter who preferred the additional opportunities that were brought to any painting which included clothing and more complicated poses.

The main point of interest in Saint Paul is the use of light that sits comfortably across the different swathes of the Saint's outfit.

Last Supper

Last Supper was a crucial moment in the life of Jesus Christ, as after this he was taken away, convicted and then brutally crucified.

It therefore takes an important role within the belief structure of Christians and for this reason was a frequent choice for artists around this period, with Leonardo da Vinci having created the most famous version of all.

El Greco's work is amongst the more subtle of those he created and has far duller colours than can be seen in most other paintings that can be seen in this website.

View of Toledo

Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple

Mary Magdalene Repentant

Virgin and Child

Assumption of the Virgin

Annunciation

Christ on the Cross

St Francis of Assisi

Adoration of the Shepherds

Tears of St Peter

Christ Blessing

Resurrection

List of Famous El Greco Paintings

El Greco produced an impressive list of paintings from his long and distinguished career, see below for a summarised collection of the best which roughly matched all those included within this website.

  • The Annunciation
  • View of Toledo
  • St. Sebastian
  • Veronica
  • The Knight with His Hand on His Breast
  • The Holy Trinity
  • The spoliation
  • The Burial of Count Orgasz
  • St. Andrew and St. Francis
  • St. Francis kneeling in meditation
  • St. Jerome, cardinal
  • Julian Romero de las Azanas and St Julian
  • Penance of Mary Magdalene
  • Pieta
  • St. Louis, King of France
  • Via crucis
  • Madonna and Child with St. Martina and St. Agnes
  • St. Martin and the Beggar
  • Baptism of Christ (Prado)
  • St. John the Baptist
  • St. Francis and the lay brother
  • Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple
  • Portrait of a Cardinal
  • The Repentant Peter
  • St. John the Evangelist
  • The Adoration of the Shepherds
  • St. Ildefonso
  • The tears of St. Peter
  • Baptism of Christ (Toledo)
  • The opening of the Fifth Seal of the Apocalypse
  • Laocoon
  • St. Paul