By Andrew R. Casper
Artwork and the non secular photo in El Greco’s Italy is the 1st book-length exam of the early occupation of 1 of the early sleek period’s such a lot notoriously misunderstood figures. Born round 1541, Domenikos Theotokopoulos started his occupation as an icon painter at the island of Crete. he's top recognized, below the identify “El Greco,” for the works he created whereas in Spain, work that experience provoked either rapt admiration and scornful disapproval because his demise in 1614. however the approximately ten years he spent in Venice and Rome, from 1567 to 1576, have remained underexplored earlier. Andrew Casper’s exam of this era permits us to achieve a formal realizing of El Greco’s complete profession and divulges a lot in regards to the tumultuous setting for spiritual portray after the Council of Trent.
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Additional info for Art and the Religious Image in El Greco's Italy
Whereas the Veronica bears the traces of a mechanical imprint created through the contact and subsequent transfer of Christ’s face to the surface of the fabric, it was the intervening process of artistic creation that generated El Greco’s portrayals of the relic. His artistic engagement with the subject effected the translation of an inner idea, or conception, of the veil’s miraculous image into an autonomous two-dimensional form. Each of El Greco’s paintings is thus a mediated interpretation of a famous sacred relic adored by the masses, having artistically re-created the subject rather than having merely copied it.
His artistic engagement with the subject effected the translation of an inner idea, or conception, of the veil’s miraculous image into an autonomous two-dimensional form. Each of El Greco’s paintings is thus a mediated interpretation of a famous sacred relic adored by the masses, having artistically re-created the subject rather than having merely copied it. To this end, El Greco’s paintings emphasize, even exaggerate, a fictive materiality as they assert the signs of artistic facture. This, in conjunction with his signatures, strives to present the subject as unambiguously represented and thus not itself present.
77 The Veronica featured most prominently at the traditional opening and closing of the Porta Santa at St. Peter’s, events marking the official beginning and end of the Holy Year celebrations. 78 We cannot confirm the authenticity of the relic that El Greco might have seen in Rome. 80 A German soldier taking part in the destruction of liturgical objects remarked that “in all the churches—St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s, St. 83 While André Chastel blames sensationalist “shock journalism” for exaggerating the effects of the sack on sacred relics,84 the original must have been quietly and unceremoniously replaced with a copy some years after the relic was lost in the mayhem of 1527 as a way of appeasing a disillusioned populace.