Jan 072008
El Greco: View of Toledo

I would like to take the idea of electricity from the previous review and see how it fits into this landscape (hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York — an interesting thematic essay on this website). The raptured, electrified sky casts a distinct white glow on the city below. The turbulent weather instills […]

Jan 062008
El Greco: Saint Martin and the Beggar

I think that (the painting hangs in the National Gallery of Art, Washington) the saturnine mood displayed by the faces seeps into the bodies, even that of the animal. The elongated, sinewy physique of the beggar appears to be melting, flowing downwards, as if unable to resist the gloomy sentimentality of the scene. The horse’s […]

Jan 052008
El Greco: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz

That’s a pretty odd sounding name. Though, there is indeed something orgiastic in the happenings above the funeral, in the strict formal sense. The commotion taking place in the celestial scene (the painting is located in the Church of Santo Tomé, Toledo) appears like the exact opposite of the appropriately grave conduct below: disorderly, joyfully […]

Jan 042008
El Greco: The Holy Family (with Saint Anne)

The first thing I noticed about this painting was St. Joseph’s hand supporting the baby’s foot: Raphael’s invention in a different variation. The second was the strange looking clouds, the gape above the Virgin’s head serving as a halo. While these features differ significantly in their specificity, they may both index El Greco’s ability to […]

Dec 252007
El Greco: The Disrobing of Christ (El Espolio)

The visual and technical grandeur of this painting (hanging in Toledo Cathedral, a Gothic monument — click here to see more explained photographs of Toledo Cathedral), described in numerous essays and books on El Greco (britannica full article) is overwhelming. The shocking red of the protagonist’s garment immediately forces the mood; color dominates the image […]