List of works by El Greco

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El Greco was a Cretan-born painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. El Greco left his birthplace for Venice in 1567, never to return. El Greco's three years in Venice profoundly influenced his style. In 1577, he emigrated to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until the end of his life.

El Greco's oeuvre is thus divided in three main periods:

  • Works he painted while he was still in Crete
  • Works he painted while he was still in Venice and Rome
  • Works he painted while he was still in Toledo

El Greco was mainly a painter but a few sculptures, including Epimetheus and Pandora, have also been attributed to El Greco.[1] This doubtful attribution is based on the testimony of Pacheco. Pacheco saw in El Greco's studio a series of figurines (of wax, stucco, and wood), but these may have been merely models, like those used in the Italian workshops (like the one El Greco himself had created, when he was in Italy). The figures illustrated recall certain nudes in paintings by El Greco in their elongated proportions, but their naturalism and the accentuated musculature of the male figure are regarded by certain researchers as surprising for El Greco.[2] Among the surviving works of the master are also four drawings;[3] three of them are preparatory works for the altarpiece of Santo Domingo el Antiguo and the fourth one is a study for one of his paintings, The Crucifixion.[4]

List of selected works[edit]

At the time of his death his belonging included 115 paintings, 15 sketches and 150 drawings. In 1908 Manuel B. Cossio, who regarded El Greco's style as a response to Spanish mysticism, published the first comprehensive catalogue of El Greco's works. In 1937 a highly influential study by art historian Rodolfo Pallucchini had the effect of greatly increasing the publicly accepted works of El Greco. Palluchini attributed to El Greco a small triptych in the Galleria Estense at Modena on the basis of a signature on the painting on the back of the central panel on the Modena triptych. There was consensus that the triptych was indeed an early work of El Greco and, therefore, Pallucchini's publication became the yardstick for attributions to the artist.[5] As a result, about 119 disputed compositions (including 19 "signed") were attributed to El Greco. Nevertheless, this "over-production" of El Greco's works created a reaction by other scholars.[6] Wethey denied that the Modena triptych had any connection at all with the artist and produced a reactive catalogue raisonné with a greatly reduced corpus of materials in 1962. Whereas art historian José Camón Aznar had attributed between 787 and 829 paintings to the Cretan master, Wethey reduced the number to 285 authentic works and Halldor Sœhner, a German researcher of Spanish art, recognized only 137.[7] Both Wethey and Sœhner divided in their catalogues the works in those painted by El Greco and those produced by his workshop.[6]

Since 1962 the discovery of the Dormition and the extensive archival research has gradually convinced scholarship that Wethey's assessments were not undisputed, and that his catalogue decisions may have distorted the whole nature of El Greco's origins, development and oeuvre. The discovery of the Dormition led to the attributions of other three signed works of "Doménicos" to El Greco (Modena Triptych,St. Luke Painting the Virgin and Child and The Adoration of the Magi) and then to the acceptance as authentic of more works, some signed, some not, which were brought into the group of early works of El Greco. In 2006 another disputed work, The Passion of Christ — Pietà with Angels, has been finally attributed to El Greco. The painting had been photographed just before the signature was removed; Nano Chatzidakis, curator of the British Library exhibition and Professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina, unearthed the restorer’s photograph.[8]

Nowadays the number of El Greco's works is estimated[9] at about 500. Nevertheless, certain disputes over the exact number of El Greco's authentic works remain unresolved, and the status of Wethey's (still highly esteemed) catalogue is at the centre of these disagreements.[6] Quantitatively, the disagreements are mostly concerned with the end rather than the beginning of his career. It is clear his son continued to sell "El Grecos" for many years after the artists death, and in his later years he had a large workshop who, as with other important artists of the period, produced repetitions of many of his compositions. The identification of these, and deciding how much involvement the master had, if any, in each case, remains unsettled.

These are some of El Greco's most important paintings:

Cretan period (b. 1567)

  • b. 1565–1566 Dormition of the Virgin
  • 1566 The Passion of Christ (Pietà with Angels)[10]
  • b. 1567 St. Luke Painting the Virgin and Child
  • c. 1565–1567 The Adoration of the Magi
  • b. 1567–1569 Modena Triptych

Italian period (1567–1577)

Spanish period (1577–1614)

  • c. 1577 Maria Magdalen in Penitence
  • c. 1577–1578 Saint Sebastian
  • c. 1577–1579 Assumption of the Virgin
  • c. 1577–1579 The Holy Trinity
  • c. 1577–1579 The Disrobing of Christ (El Espolio)
  • c. 1577–1579 Allegory of the Holly League
  • c. 1580 The Ecstasy of St Francis [12]
  • c. 1580–1582 The Martyrdom of Saint Maurice
  • c. 1580–1582 Saint Peter in Tears
  • c. 1582–1586 Saint Mary Magdalene
  • c. 1585–1588 Portrait of Rodrigo de la Fuente
  • c. 1586–1588 The Burial of the Count of Orgaz
  • c. 1586–1597 Portrait of an Elderly Man
  • c. 1587–1596 Saint Peter in Tears
  • c. 1587–1596 Veil of Veronica
  • c. 1590–1595 Holly Family with Saint Anna
  • c. 1590–1595 Saint Andrew and Saint Francis
  • c. 1590–1595 Agony in the Garden (several versions, the one in Toledo, Ohio being accepted as prime.
  • c. 1590–1600 Saint Peter and Saint Paul[13]
  • c. 1595–1600 Portrait of an Old Man (so called self-portrait)
  • c. 1596–1600 View of Toledo
  • c. 1597–1599 Saint Martin and the Beggar
  • c. 1597–1599 Saint Joseph and the Christ Child
  • c. 1597–1599 Madonna and the Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes
  • c. 1597–1600 The Annunciation
  • c. 1597–1600 Pentecost
  • c. 1600 Portrait of Antonio de Covarrubias
  • c. 1600–1601 Portrait of Cardinal Nino de Guevara
  • c. 1600–1605 The Repentant St. Peter, Phillips Collection
  • c. 1600–1605 Saint Ildefonso
  • c. 1600–1605 Crucifixion
  • c. 1600–1605 Resurrection
  • c. 1600–1605 Portrait of Jorge Manuel Theotocopoulos
  • c. 1600–1605 Apostolado series, i.e. Christ and the Twelve Apostles in thirteen half-length portraits. Many versions, with one in Toledo Cathedral accepted as largely by El Greco himself.
  • c. 1600–1607 Saint Judas Thaddaeus
  • c. 1600–1610 Saint Jerome as Cardinal – five versions, those in the Frick and Metropolitan being generally accepted as prime. Also Madrid, London.
  • c. 1600–1614 Purification of the Temple Several versions: London, Frick, Madrid.
  • c. 1606–1607 Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist
  • c. 1603 The Annunciation
  • c. 1603–1605 Coronation of the Virgin, Royal Monastery of Guadalupe (Spain).
  • c. 1603–1605 Madonna of Charity
  • c. 1605 Saint Peter
  • c. 1607 Saint Mary Magdalene
  • c. 1607–1613 Virgin of the Immaculate Conception
  • c. 1607–1614 The Visitation
  • c. 1608–1614 The Immaculate Conception
  • c. 1608–1614 View and Plan of Toledo
  • c. 1608–1614 Concert of Angels
  • 1609 Portrait of Fray Hortensio Félix Paravacino
  • c. 1609–1614 Portrait of Cardinal Tavera
  • c. 1609–1614 Opening of the Fifth Seal (The Fifth Seal of the Apocalypse The Vision of Saint John)
  • c. 1609–1614 The Annunciation
  • c. 1610–1614 Laocoön
  • c. 1610–1614 Apostolado series, unfinished at his death
  • c. 1612–1614 The Adoration of the Shepherds

See also[edit]


  1. ^ X. de Salas, The Velazquez Exhibition in Madrid, 54–57
  2. ^ Web Gallery of Art, Epimetheus and Pandora
  3. ^ The Guardian, El Greco Drawings Could Fetch £400,000
  4. ^ Web Gallery of Art, Study for St John the Evangelist and an Angel
  5. ^ R. Palluchini, Some Early Works by El Greco, 130–135
  6. ^ a b c M. Tazartes, El Greco, 70–71
  7. ^ Cormack-Vassilaki, The Baptism of Christ[permanent dead link]
    * M. Tazartes, El Greco, 70
  8. ^ D. Alberge, Collector Is Vindicated as Icon is Hailed as El Greco
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ This painting was founded several years ago in Poland
  13. ^ "Saint Peter and Saint Paul" (in Catalan). Retrieved 2014-06-25. 

External links[edit]