Spanish Artists

Spanish Artists
  • Diego Velázquez
  • Francisco Goya
  • El Greco
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Salvador Dalí
  • Antoni Gaudí
  • Joan Miró
  • Juan Gris
  • Gil de Siloé
  • Diego de Siloé
  • Alonso Berruguete
  • Jaume Huguet
  • Ferrer Bassa
  • José Churriguera
  • Francisco de Zurbarán

El Greco (1541-1614)

Named Domenicos Theotokopoulos at birth, this artist was not a Spaniard but was actually born in Crete, hence his nick name El Greco - The Greek.

He lived during a stage in history when the Counter-Reformation was at its height in Spain and the teachings of the Jesuits were of prime importance. He settled in Toledo but traveled frequently between Rome and Venice as well. The Christian doctrines and teaching being disseminated so strongly influenced El Greco when it came to his artistic works and he presented many religious subjects as visions, combining a sense of passion, restraint and nervous energy all in one.

He picked up Mannerism in Italy, and went on to being one of Spain's most famous Mannerist painter. His first Spanish commission in 1577 entailed working at the church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo and painting the Assumption of the Virgin. El Greco painted one of his greatest masterpieces in 1586. He painted this artistic wonder, The Burial of Count Orgaz, for the Church of Santo Tomé in Toledo.

El Greco's distinct style includes the use of intense and vivid color, elongated figures and what is referred to as horror vacui (a dread of unfilled or empty spaces). He also enjoyed painting landscapes, such as the View of Toledo, which was a subject matter that was not broached by many Spanish artists of the time.