El Greco was born 1541 and died 1614 in Toledo at age 73. He was
named at birth Domeniko’s TheotoKopoulos. He was Born in Candia, the capital
of the island of Crete, off the coast of Greece.
Nothing is certain is known of thefirst twenty five years of El Greco’s life,
except that he lived on Crete and became a painter. It is thought from later
events in his life that El Greco recieved a sound education in letters. He came
from a family of middle or upper classes, which could afford to send their children
He studied under a master named Titian and Tentonetto. He was not self
taught. June 6, 1566 is thefirst record of El Greco’s existence as a painter. On
this day Maistro Menegos Theotokopoulos signed a sale in a lottery (sale) for one
of his pictures. After this point the next record of El Greco was August 18, 1568 in
Venice. He had gone to venice to develop his talent as a painter and learn about
Italian art. He later left Italy or Spain to earn a better sale on paintings.
El Greco had a Venetian apprentice ship and trained him well in divining
the personalities of his models and had given him a serious approach to his
He was not the madman nor the excessive original that people have
thought him to be. He was an enthusiastic colorist. He was fond of unusual
tones. He sacrificed everything in his search for effects. Despite his mistakes, El
Greco canonly be considered as a great painter. He had an unusual style as the
After his arrival in Toledo (July 1577) he formed a relationship with a
woman named Jeronima de las Cueuns. He lived with her there after and never
married. They had a son named Jorge manuel in 1578. Jorge was trained as a
painter and architect and became his father’s partner beginning around 1500.
Little is known about El Greco. He made a good income as a painter bu