Heavily influenced by the colorism of Venetian Renaissance paintings, El Greco moved from Crete to living most of his life in Spain, where he produced paintings characterized by their electrifying colors and spirit of mysticism. El Greco was born in Crete, then part of the Venetian republic and his earliest paintings are in the medieval Greek Byzantine style. Aged 26 he moved to Venice, then to Rome in 1570, then in 1577 to Toledo in Spain where he was to remain. In Venice he absorbed the work of Titian (1488/90–1576), Tintoretto (1519–94) and Jacopo Bassano (ca. 1510–92). The impact of Tintoretto in particular is obvious in the various versions of Christ and the Money Changers. During his sojourn at Rome he could study Michelangelo and his numerous followers.
Books on El Greco
Rebecca J Long, ed., El Greco: Ambition and Defiance, exh. cat., Chicago, 2020.
Fernando Marías, El Greco: Life and Work – A New History, London, 2019.
Gianna Manzini and Tiziana Frati, L’Opera Completa del Greco, Milan, 1978.
Antonio Palomino de Castro y Lelasco, Lives of the Eminent Spanish Painters and Sculptors, 1715-24, trans. Nina Alaya Mallory, Cambridge, 1987.