El Greco, born Domḗnikos Theotokópoulos, was a Greek painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance and his works contributed to Cubism and Expressionism years after his death. "El Greco" was his nickname, meaning "The Greek". El Greco is most renowned for his torturously stretched figures painted in fantastical pigments with a stark vividness nearly resembling chalk. He was drawn to the emerging Mannerist style, which rejected art's simple reproduction of nature in favor of expressing a work's underlying psychological elements in addition to its mythical or religious subjects. Many people have appreciated him for his methods of fusing Byzantine and Western painting styles. His contemporaries considered El Greco's dramatic and expressionistic style perplexing, but his works were rediscovered by the 20th century.
In 1541, El Greco was born into a middle-class family in Crete. His father was a tax collector and merchant. His early years are mostly unknown, aside from the fact that he decided to pursue painting at a very young age. El Greco had mastered the post-Byzantine style of art by the time he was 22 years old.
El Greco went to Venice around 1567 and entered the studio of Titan. Three years later, he moved to Rome. In 1572, he became a member of the guild of St. Luke. El Greco expanded his creative abilities and started to build a distinctive style in Rome. He used elements of the then-current Renaissance aesthetic, but he also tried to set himself apart by offering fresh perspectives on the conventionally sacred themes. The Mannerists, who rejected the ideas of harmonic proportion, balance, static beauty, and naturalist presence, were where he discovered creativity. Due to his open criticism of Michelangelo, El Greco didn't receive any commissions in Rome. In 1577, he went to Spain. There he met affluent patrons and intelligent acquaintances, and he also received two significant contracts for nearby churches, which helped him get the aesthetic acclaim he so desperately sought. During this time, he created The Burial of the Count de Orgaz, which best expressed his Mannerist method of composition.
Later Years and Death
He had his busiest period of commissions between 1597 and 1607 when he was hired to paint many churches and monasteries at once. On April 7, 1614, El Greco died due to illness at the age of 72.