El Greco in Italy and Italian Art
When Domenikos Theotokopoulos left his native Candia, Crete, then a Venetian possession, to go to Venice, probably in 1567, he had already reached a mature age – he was 26 – and was an acclaimed painter in the Byzantine tradition.
The ten years of Domenikos Theotokopoulos’s sojourn in Italy (1567-1577) served as a “school” in which a Byzantine master was transformed into a Western artist, not only in stylistic respects but mostly from an ideological viewpoint. The Cretan artist’s familiarization with the theory of art of the Renaissance can be corroborated by both the titles of the books he left in his library when he died in Toledo, in 1614, and the wealth of handwritten notes found in three surviving volumes. His bold defence of the autonomy of artist as well as his image of the artist-intellectual both reflect how imbued he was with the ideas of the Italian Renaissance.
The exhibition “El Greco in Italy and Italian Art”, jointly organized by the National Gallery of Greece and the Domenikos Theotokopoulos Centre, Institute of Mediterranean Studies (IMS), and the conference held concurrently in Rethymnon were an opportunity for specialists and non-specialists to reassess the formative decade of El Greco’s apprenticeship in Italy.
The two events were conceived, organized by the Professor of Art History Nicos Hadjinicolaou, who also acted as scientific advisor. The exhibition featured masterpieces from El Greco’s Italian period, alongside works by artists who had influenced him. The artworks came from museums and collections in Greece, other European countries and the U.S.A.
Scientific Advisor: Nicos Hadjinicolaou, Professor of Art History
Exhibition Curators: Angela Tamvaki, Efi Agathonikou, Curators, National Gallery of Greece
Sponsor: IONIKI BANK