El Greco, エル・グレコ
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エル・グレコ（El Greco, 1541年 - 1614年4月7日）は、現ギリシャ領のクレタ島出身の画家。本名はドメニコス・テオトコプーロスで、一般に知られるエル・グレコの名はスペイン語で「ギリシャ人」を意味する通称である。
He was a painter in Crete and first trained as an icon painter. At the age of twenty-six he journeyed to Venice where he is said to have studied western-style art under Titian and Tintoretto. He spent almost two years there before moving to Rome. In Rome, El Greco was influenced by the mannerist style as practiced by followers of Michelangelo. Mannerism appealed to him because of the talent and intelligence and virtuosity required to create the images. In 1577 he emigrated to Toledo at the time the religious capital of Spain where he produced his mature works. The Christian doctrines greatly influenced his life and his artwork, leading him to a successful career as a painter of altarpieces and portraits. Some works include The Annunciation, Laocoon, and The Repentent Peter. Many of El Greco's works are on display at Madrid's Museo del Prado; however others can be found in other places such as The Greco Museum and House in Toledo, The Museum of Santa Cruz in the same city, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
The Burial of Count Orgaz was painted by El Greco in 1586. This is the upper portion of the painting.
El Greco referred to himself not as a craftsman or painter, but rather as an artist-philosopher because he was guided by his underlying religious principles. His works are all very intense to the viewer. The strong spiritual emotion transfers from painting directly to the audience. A fantastic example of his religious fervor is in the painting, "Saint Francis in Prayer." His strange art has had many wonder if he was insane or suffered from eye problems, such as astigmatism, but in actuality it simply reflected the strong Christian influence in Spain during the time.
After his death, El Greco's work fell into relative obscurity. It was not until the late nineteenth century that artists and critics renewed interest in his highly individual manner of expression. El Greco's liberation of form, light and color inspired artists such as Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock in their efforts to transform the art of painting of the 20th century.
The Dormition of the Virgin - An early work of El Greco painted in the late Byzantine style popular in Crete at the time.
"El Greco sought to convey the essential or universal meaning of the subject through a process of redefinition and reduction. In Toledo, he accomplished this by abandoning the Renaissance emphasis on the observation and selection of natural phenomena. Instead he responded to Byzantine and sixteenth-century Mannerist art in which images are conceived in the mind. Space is perceived in the imagination rather than misused; light is incandescent, fitful and unreal; colours are pure, luminous and unearthly; figures are elongated, energised and dematerialised. All are illuminated and quickened by God's Grace." - David Davies
Extreme distortion of body characterizes El Greco's last works for example, the “Adoration of the Shepherds” (Prado Museum, Madrid), painted in 1612-14 for his own burial chapel. The brilliant, dissonant colours and the strange shapes and poses create a sense of wonder and ecstasy, as the shepherd and angels celebrate the miracle of the newly born child.
The Burial of Count Orgaz was painted by El Greco in 1586. Based on a 14th-century legend, it is an expressive work, full of religious fervour.
“View and Plan of Toledo” (1610-14; Greco House and Museum, Toledo) is almost like a vision, all of the buildings painted glistening white. An inscription by the artist on the canvas explains quite fancifully that he had placed the Hospital of San Juan Bautista on a cloud in the foreground so that it could better be seen and that the map in the picture shows the streets of the city. At the left, a river god represents the Tagus, which flows around Toledo, a city built on rocky heights. Although El Greco had lived in Italy and in Rome himself, he rarely used such classical Roman motives.
El Greco often produces an open pipe between Earth and Heaven in his paintings. The Annunciation is one example of this spiritual conduit being present. The people, clouds, and other objects in many of his paintings open away from a central, empty passageway between the ground and the upper spiritual firmament. This is sometimes a subtle concavity in fabrics that implies a ghostly passageway that leads vertically from the people at the bottom to the angels at the top of the paintings. In other paintings, this central cylinder of open space is very prominent, providing a distinctive visionary style, due to the deep insights of the pious painter. These paintings imply that El Greco, himself, can see the holy path from common human existence toward a very real Heaven.
The above explanation comes from 出典: フリー百科事典"ウィキペディア"