El Greco Ambition and Defiance Rebecca J Long, Keith Christiansen, Richard L Kagan, Guillaume Kientz, Felipe Pereda, Jose Riello, Leticia Ruiz Gomez, Jena K Carvana

Publication date:
17 Mar 2020
Art Institute of Chicago
200 pages: 330 x 229mm
148 color illus.
Sales territories:

A visually stunning examination of El Greco’s work that considers the artist’s constant reinvention and professional drive

Renowned for a singular artistic vision, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, known as El Greco (1541–1614), developed his distinctive painting style as he assiduously pursued professional success. This fresh and engaging survey of El Greco’s work explores varied aspects of the artist’s career—his aesthetic education in Italy, the mixed reception of his mature works in Spain, his uncompromising approach to business, and the baroque logistics of his Toledo workshop—and reveals the depth of El Greco’s astounding ambition. The impressive volume focuses in particular on his 1577–79 altarpiece paintings for the Church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo—among them the magnificent Assumption of the Virgin—which heralded the artist’s arrival in Spain after productive periods of formation and re-formation in Crete, Venice, and Rome. Lavishly illustrated and clothbound with gilded edges, this publication features reproductions and scholarly discussions of more than 60 works ranging from large-scale canvases to intimate panels, with essays that elucidate the motives and meanings behind the artist’s constantly changing and inventive approach.

Rebecca J. Long is Patrick G. and Shirley Ryan Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1750 at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Réunion des musées nationaux–Grand Palais, Paris
(October 14, 2019–February 10, 2020)

The Art Institute of Chicago
(Spring–Fall 2020)

“The essays...reflect a generational shift and the new pre-eminence of Spanish research.”—Michael Scholz-Hansel, Art Newspaper