By Andrew R. Casper
Artwork and the spiritual photo in El Greco’s Italy is the 1st book-length exam of the early occupation of 1 of the early sleek period’s such a lot notoriously misunderstood figures. Born round 1541, Domenikos Theotokopoulos started his profession as an icon painter at the island of Crete. he's top recognized, lower than the identify “El Greco,” for the works he created whereas in Spain, work that experience provoked either rapt admiration and scornful disapproval when you consider that his demise in 1614. however the approximately ten years he spent in Venice and Rome, from 1567 to 1576, have remained underexplored beforehand. Andrew Casper’s exam of this era permits us to achieve a formal knowing of El Greco’s complete occupation and divulges a lot concerning the tumultuous setting for non secular portray after the Council of Trent.
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Extra resources for Art and the Religious Image in El Greco's Italy
It is especially meaningful that El Greco chose to leave indexical traces on paintings that represent 34 what is essentially another index. ” He asserted a physical engagement with the pictorial surface through the application of pigment, just as Christ touched and pressed his face into the surface of Veronica’s towel, leaving behind a sweaty, blood-flecked stain in the pattern of his own likeness. This draws a parallel between artistic creativity and divine imprint that makes the resulting images by-products of physical presence.
2 While El Greco’s composition varies little from other versions, he rather uniquely employed two distinct artistic styles within the same work, thereby exhibiting his aim to master both Eastern and Western pictorial idioms. The small icon of the Hodegetria relies entirely on late-Byzantine pictorial conventions common to works by Cretan iconographers. 3 However, he enlivened other areas of this composition with Western stylistic and iconographic elements. We see this most especially in the more modeled figure of Luke, his agitated drapery, and the convincing naturalism of the angel weightlessly hovering above.
52 Among his most unique contributions was his portrayal of disegno (a term he used to signify the entire practice of making art) as a metaphysical, not just manual, process. 53 Crucially, he submitted that the artist himself is only partly responsible for the creation of an image. On one hand, the formation of this inner concept depends on the accumulation of sense experiences culled from interactions with the natural world, which the artist’s fantasia pieces together to create images in the intellect.