Top 20 El Greco Famous Paintings [Fine Art Masterpieces]

Top 20 El Greco Famous Paintings [Fine Art Masterpieces]

El Greco Self-portrait

El Greco Self-portrait

In a self-portrait that El Greco painted in his later years, the renowned 16th-century painter and artist may have depicted his own neurological issues.

A team of academics recently hypothesized that the historical archives of art demonstrated a left eye impairment apparent in most of the great painter's works after unearthing some of his famous works.

The neurologists claim that strabismus naturally causes a lazy eye, which has been seen in El Greco's self-portraits.

According to historical documents, the researchers discovered that El Greco had numerous little strokes that had an impact on his left side as well.

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El Greco Artworks

View of Toledo by El Greco

View of Toledo by El Greco

El Greco's View of Toledo is one of just two of his landscapes that have survived, and it's also one of the most well-known representations of the sky in Western art.

El Greco was the first artist in art history to use color and form expressively. He reorganizes the actual structure of the buildings in this painting to achieve his desired effect.

This piece is among the earliest Spanish landscape paintings of its era since the Council of Trent (1545–1563) had outlawed landscape painting.

The symbolism of the work is connected to the cultural heritage and history of the city at the time it was made.

Completed: 1596 - 1600

Style: Mannerism

Measurements: 121.3 cm Ă— 108.6 cm

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Medium: Oil on canvas

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The Holy Trinity by El Greco

The Holy Trinity by El Greco

The dead body of Christ is held in the arms of the Father, who is depicted as being broken and distressed. The Father's head is adorned with an antique Eastern miter.

The extended form of Christ's body is positioned at an unnatural angle, wonderfully capturing the dead weight of his crucified and scourged body. There is a bird in the sky, which many people take to be a symbol for the Holy Spirit.

In addition, there are cherubims at Christ's feet and six bereaved angels arranged in a 'V' formation surrounding the tableau. The use of a variety of hues draws attention to the painting's striking color scheme, which Greco chose.

Due to the dazzling golden yellow sun shining overhead and casting its radiance over the area, experts and art enthusiasts actually referred to the painting as a glory of the skies.

In addition, the illumination even appears to break through the clouds! The entire work of art is a scenario of exaltation and glorification, which is here beautifully and skillfully embodied.

Completed: 1577 - 1579

Style: Northern Renaissance

Measurements: 300 cm x 179 cm

Location: Museo Nacional del Prado

Medium: Oil on canvas

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The Disrobing of Christ by El Greco

The Disrobing of Christ by El Greco

One of El Greco's most well-known works of art is The Disrobing of Christ. Greco started in the summer of 1577 and he finished it in the spring of 1579. It was purchased by the Toledo Cathedral to hang over the main altar of the chapel.

Although it was recently removed by the Prado in Madrid for conservation work and briefly displayed in their galleries before being restored to the cathedral, the painting is still there today.

The preparation leading up to Christ's crucifixion is shown in this painting, which at the time was a novel subject for Western art.

Christ's death is foreshadowed by the multitude of executioners who encircle him in the background while wearing gloomy clothing.

On the right, a man is about to yank Christ's robe off. Two men are squabbling about who gets to keep his clothes behind him, while another is mockingly pointing at him.

The scene in the foreground depicts a man drilling a hole in the bottom of the cross for the nails that would hold Christ's feet. In the bottom left corner, three women are depicted, looking visibly distressed by the events.

Completed: 1577 - 1579

Style: Northern Renaissance

Measurements: 285 cm Ă— 173 cm

Location: Sacristy of Toledo Cathedral

Medium: Oil on canvas

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The Miracle of Christ Healing the Blind by El Greco

The Miracle of Christ Healing the Blind by El Greco

After leaving Crete in 1567 and working in either Venice or Rome before relocating to Spain in 1576, El Greco created this masterwork of theatrical narrative.

It exemplifies the Gospel passage in which Christ opens the eyes of a blind man by healing him. 

El Greco's Most Famous Paintings
El Greco's Most Famous Paintings

Perhaps the parents of the blind man are the two men in the forefront. The composition is incomplete at the top left corner. El Greco created two further depictions of the theme, and it appears that he brought this one with him to Spain.

Completed: 1567

Style: Venetian Renaissance

Measurements: 119.4 cm x 146.1 cm

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Medium: Oil on canvas

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Christ Carrying the Cross by El Greco

Christ Carrying the Cross by El Greco

Christ Carrying the Cross was painted between 1600 and 1605. El Greco had a long career in Spain and painted numerous scenes from the Bible, including Christ bearing the cross.

El Greco's trademark style, gloomy sky serves as the background for Christ Carrying the Cross and it is centered around Jesus. He clutches the cross with very little exertion, and his face bears an appearance of hope.

Completed: 1580

Style: Renaissance

Measurements: 105 cm Ă— 79 cm

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Medium: Oil on canvas

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The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (El entierro del conde de Orgaz) by El Greco

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (El entierro del conde de Orgaz) by El Greco

An early 14th-century legend served as the basis for the painting's subject matter. Don Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo, the mayor of the town of Orgaz, passed away in 1323 (or in 1312).

Don Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo was a member of the illustrious Palaiologos family, which gave rise to the Byzantine Empire's final reigning dynasty.

The Count of Orgaz was a devout Caballero who was also generous, leaving money for the enlargement and decoration of the church of Santo Tomé, where he wished to be buried.

There's a tale that when the Count was laid to rest, Saint Stephen and Saint Augustine personally descended from the heavens and buried him with their own hands before the amazed eyes of those in attendance.

The event is shown in the painting, and the contract between Greco and the Church has a detailed description of the subject matter of the piece.

The Latin epitaphian inscription carved into the wall underneath the artwork also refers to the miracle. Greco complied with the agreement, but he also added several details that "modernized" the story.

These include the two saints' clothing, an image of prominent Toledan people from his age, and a sequence of details attributed to a 16th-century traditional funeral procession.

The "modernization" of the narrative serves the painting's didactic intent, which emphasizes the need for both saint adoration and good actions for the salvation of the soul in line with Counter-Reformation teachings.

Completed: 1586

Style: Renaissance

Measurements: 480 cm Ă— 360 cm

Location: Iglesia de Santo Tomé, Toledo, Spain

Medium: Oil on canvas

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Opening of the Fifth Seal (The Vision of Saint John) by El Greco

Opening of the Fifth Seal (The Vision of Saint John) by El Greco

El Greco's painting, Opening of the Fifth Seal, illustrates a scene from Revelation 6:9–11 in which the martyred martyrs' souls appeal to God for justice on Earth.

The image is dominated by the euphoric figure of St. John, while behind him, bare souls react with overwhelming passion as they receive white robes of salvation.

The canvas' uppermost section has been removed because it was destroyed in 1880. It is thought that the higher, missing section represented heavenly love.

This painting, sometimes known as "The Fifth Seal of the Apocalypse" or "The Vision of Saint John," was made by El Greco in his final years for a side altar at the chapel of Saint John the Baptist near Toledo.

Completed: 1608 - 1614

Style: Renaissance

Measurements: 224.8 cm Ă— 199.4 cm

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Medium: Oil on canvas

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Annunciation by El Greco

Annunciation by El Greco

EI Greco painted multiple renditions of the Annunciation throughout his life, making it possible to follow the evolution of his stylistic approach by the way he approached this Biblical narrative.

This work is based on the New Testament chapter (Luke I, 26–38) that describes how the Archangel Gabriel announced the Virgin Mary's pregnancy to the world and how the Holy Spirit took the form of a dove to incarnate Christ in Mary.

In order to create a more realistic scenario, EI Greco lightly frames the figures and presents them within a straightforward architectural setting.

Completed: 1609

Style: Mannerism

Measurements: 294 cm Ă— 204 cm

Location: Private Collection, Madrid

Medium: Oil on canvas

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Laocoön by El Greco

Laocoön by El Greco

In the artwork, Laocoön, a Trojan priest of Poseidon, and his two sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus are seen dying, according to Greek and Roman mythology.

The gods punished Laocoön for trying to warn his people about the Trojan horse by having sea serpents strangle him and his sons. 

Completed: 1610 - 1614

Style: Mannerism

Measurements: 137.5 cm x 172.5 cm

Location: National Gallery of Art

Medium: Oil on canvas

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Crucifixion by El Greco

Crucifixion by El Greco

In Crucifixion, El Greco depicts life and death in striking detail. Themes like sacrifice and fatal torment and depicted. El Greco combined realistic elements with themes of the afterlife. His utilization of color brings viewers into the painting.

Completed: 1597 - 1600

Style: Realism

Measurements: 312 cm X 169 cm

Location: Museo Nacional Del Prado

Medium: Oil on canvas

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Assumption of the Virgin by El Greco

Assumption of the Virgin by El Greco

El Greco's first significant Spanish commission was this painting. Here, the Virgin floats upward, supported by the crescent moon that represents her purity, as the apostles who were there at her empty tomb look on in astonishment and anxiety.  

Completed: 1577 - 1579

Style: Religious Art

Measurements: 403.2 cm x 211.8 cm

Location: Art Institute of Chicago

Medium: Oil on canvas

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Portrait of Cardinal Nino de Guevara by El Greco

Portrait of Cardinal Nino de Guevara by El Greco

This exceptional work delineates Fernando Niño de Guevara who was named a cardinal in 1596.

He then was appointed Spain's Inquisitor General in 1599, but he gave up that position in 1602 to spend the rest of his life as the Archbishop of Seville. The artwork most likely dates back to the spring of 1600.

Completed: 1598

Style: Religious Art

Measurements: 170.8 cm x 108cm

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Medium: Oil on canvas

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The Adoration of the Shepherds by El Greco

The Adoration of the Shepherds by El Greco

El Greco frequently created copies or variations of significant compositions, and this painting repeats elements of a painting created for Juan de Ribera, patriarch of Antioch and Archbishop of Valencia.

There is a lot of complexity between light and shade in the work, and the image's splendid colors further increase the work's structural style.

Completed: 1612 -1614

Style: History painting

Measurements: 319 cm x 180 cm

Location: Museo Nacional Del Prado

Medium: Oil on canvas

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Resurrection by El Greco

Resurrection by El Greco

Compared to the works of other artists from the time, the work has a fairly distinctive style.

At the time when the artwork was created, the elongated figures, vivid colors, and exuberantly loose brushstrokes were not well-known.

El Greco, however, paid little heed to what the general public thought and employed the style to emphasize the spiritual elements in his paintings. And it was on this basis that he developed his distinctive style, which the public grew to like.

Completed:1600

Style: Christian Art

Measurements: 275 cm x 127 cm

Location: Museo Nacional Del Prado

Medium: Oil on canvas

The Ecstasy of St. Francis of Assisi by El Greco

The Ecstasy of St. Francis of Assisi by El Greco

The saint is depicted in the painting with his arms wide, waiting to hear the message he seeks. El Greco decides to depict him reaching upward right before the ecstatic moment.

He wears a plain outfit and has a brown piece of rope around his waist. In this rendition, the saint's head is lowered so that more of his facial features can be seen.

Additionally, there is a hint of skylight, which creates a more dramatic atmosphere than in his other versions, which are all uniformly low lighted. He has a skull next to him, which is a common element to symbolic artwork that typically denotes mortality. 

Completed:1600

Style: Christian Art

Measurements: 102 cm x 75 cm

Location: Muzeum Diecezjalne w Siedlcach

Medium: Oil on canvas

Christ Blessing The Saviour of the World by El Greco

Christ Blessing The Saviour of the World by El Greco

Despite being a later piece, this canvas evokes El Greco's early works, which were Byzantine style paintings.

A crystal-like orb or globe representing the entire planet is included as well as a Bible. The sense of light is excellently conveyed by his fluid brushwork and liberal use of white.

The work might have been a part of a popular Spanish series that included Christ and the twelve Apostles.

Completed:1600

Style: Mannerism

Measurements: 73 cm x 56 cm

Location: Scottish National Gallery

Medium: Oil on canvas

Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes by El Greco

Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes by El Greco

This artwork was created for the Toledo Chapel of Saint Joseph, where it was initially hung on the altar.

El Greco shows the Virgin bearing Christ while she is encircled by angels and holy figures.

Saint Martina and Saint Agnes, who are distinguished by their separate characteristics—the lion for Martina and the lamb for Agnes—are depicted at the bottom.

Completed: 1597 - 1599

Style: Mannerism

Measurements: 193.5 cm x 103 cm

Location: National Gallery of Art

Medium: Oil on canvas

Saint Martin and the Beggar by El Greco

Saint Martin and the Beggar by El Greco

Saint Martin and the Beggar was commissioned for Toledo's Chapel of San José by Martn Ramrez, the chapel's donor. The fourth-century saint was represented by El Greco as a youthful nobleman riding a white Arabian horse while wearing stylish armor decorated with gold. 

Completed: 1597 - 1599

Style: Mannerism

Measurements: 6.4 cm x 3.5 cm

Location: National Gallery of Art

Medium: Oil on canvas

Saint Jerome by El Greco

Saint Jerome by El Greco

At least five paintings of Saint Jerome were created by El Greco. The saint is depicted in this version, in the artist's final years, dressed in the red cardinal's robes and sitting in front of an open book.

The ascetic and academic sides of Saint Jerome were creatively combined in this artwork, making it noteworthy.

Completed: 1609

Style: Mannerism

Measurements: 108 cm Ă— 87 cm

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Medium: Oil on canvas

Portrait of Vincenzo Anastagi by El Greco

Portrait of Vincenzo Anastagi by El Greco

El Greco finished this full-length work sometime around 1575. The traditional nature of its style perfectly encapsulates the artist's early career.

Today, it can be seen in the US's Frick Collection. El Greco did not frequently paint military portraits, therefore this painting is apart from his body of work as a whole. 

Completed: 1575

Style: Mannerism

Measurements: 188 cm Ă— 126.7 cm

Location: Frick Collection

Medium: Oil on canvas

 

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