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El Greco (National Gallery of London)

In the fall of 2003, a highly acclaimed exhibition of works by El Greco (1541--1614) was on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show's next venue is the National Gallery, London. As this book and the landmark exhibition demonstrate, El Greco is of perennial interest to museum audiences and the general public. He was a fascinating and esteemed artist in his own time, but for nearly four hundred years he was derided, misunderstood, or simply forgotten. The book follows El Greco from his native island of Crete to Venice, Rome, Madrid, and then Toledo, the ecclesiastical capital of Spain. The artist's unique ability to assimilate different artistic techniques and approaches to religion and philosophy enabled him to develop one of the most original styles of painting in the history of European art. Despite his highly successful career, El Greco was unappreciated for centuries after his death, and the book examines how his genius came to light again in the nineteenth century. For those looking for an excellent introduction to the life and work of this great artist, El Greco is a perfect choice.