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El Greco in Paris: Cretan-Born, Italian-Trained Artist who Worked in Spain Comes to France

Oct 16, 2019
Born in Crete, steeped in the post-Byzantine tradition, trained in Italy, and ultimately flourishing in Spain, El Greco embodies the intercultural movement and exchange that have long characterized Greek history.
Doménico Theotokόpoulos—El Greco—is also a unique transitional figure between eras in art, between the Renaissance and the Spanish Golden Age.

A new exhibition at the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées in Paris, supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), is the first major show in France dedicated to El Greco’s work. The work is presented as a hybridized product of diverse geographic influences that simultaneously caps Renaissance mastery and presages modern aesthetics. The museum’s description of the event asserts that El Greco brings “Titian’s color, Tintoretto’s audacity and Michelangelo’s heroic style” to his work.

The exhibition, running from October 16, 2019 through February 10, 2020, is produced in partnership between leading institutions in Europe and the United States: the Art Institute of Chicago, the Louvre, and the Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais. For SNF, this captures a contemporary sense of what sharing Hellenism can mean: a collaborative exchange of ideas, traditions, and experiences across international borders that will give hundreds of thousands of people an opportunity to learn from and be inspired by art.

SNF has sought to support flagship exhibitions in France that explore cultural heritage and engage citizens, including at institutions such as the Louvre and the Institut du Monde Arabe. The Foundation considers broad public access to the arts, with their ability to help us better understand ourselves and connect with those who are different from us, essential.