El Greco Essay

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El Greco

The Agony In the Garden, a mannerist style of art by EL Greco, proclaims a sense of
spiritual power of religious faith which accomplishes El Greco’s aim to move his
audience. El Greco was born on the island of Crete and lived from 1541 to 1614. He
represented the most characteristic figure of Spanish Mannerism. El Greco was
influenced by and became acquainted with the art of Titian and Jacopo Bassano in Venice
where he studied in 1566. In addition to visiting Italy, El Greco made his way to Rome,
Parma and probably Florence. On his travels he became more familiar with the work of
Parmigianino and the work of Correggio. In El Greco’s use of form can be seen
Florentine Mannerism. Venetian Mannerism can be seen in
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The Biblical occurrence illustrated is standardized on two levels, one above the other. The group of the three sleeping apostles fill the lower plane. We find comparable groups of apostles in pictures by Giovanni Bellini. El Greco returns to Quattrocento etiquette, especially in the manner in which the sleeping gray-haired apostle bends his arm around his head.

Of the abundant versions of this painting in the artist’s own hand there is a smaller copy in the Museum at Lille, and other variants are to be found in the Episcopal palace in the Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires. The variant most similarly related to the painting in Budapest is the larger-scale version in the Church of Santa Maria at Andujar which displays other works of mannerist art.

The mannerist style thrived at the same time as High Renaissance and Baroque art. Mannerism, like many other names attached to so many other periods of art, was a name conceived in disdain and impudence. Maniera, meaning maner, was correlated with the
artist who worked in the manner of someone else. Like an imitator who adapted and
sometimes perfected the forms of another. However, there are characteristics of the
Mannerist style which disconnected it from the period of the High Renaissance as well as
the distinguishing it from the emerging Baroque. A number of crucial artist of
Mannerism have displayed meaningful works. Only in the last ninety years has
Mannerism come to be…