The Penitent Magdalene
El Greco (1541–1614)
(1576 - 1577)
oil on canvas
Budapest Museum of Fine Arts
El Greco, born Doménikos Theotokópoulos, (1541 – 1614) was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. “El Greco” (The Greek) was a nickname, a reference to his national Greek origin.
El Greco substantially sought to distinguish himself by inventing new and unusual interpretations of traditional religious subject matter; as a result he was disdained by the immediate generations after his death because his work was opposed in many respects to the principles of the early baroque style.
With the arrival of Romantic sentiments in the late 18th century, El Greco’s works were examined anew. To French writer Théophile Gautier, El Greco was the precursor of the European Romantic movement in all its craving for the strange and the extreme. Gautier regarded El Greco as the ideal romantic hero (the “gifted”, the “misunderstood”, the “mad”), and was the first who explicitly expressed his admiration for El Greco’s later technique. 20th century ‘discovered’ anew El Greco.#El Greco