Born in Crete in 1541, Domenico Theotokopoulos, known as El Greco, was heavily influenced by the post-Byzantine tradition and style. He undertook his initial apprenticeship before refining his training in Venice and then Rome, but it was in Spain that his art flourished. His style represented the intercultural mobility that has always characterized Greek culture and history.

Attracted by the incredible promise of the El Escorial site, the artist brought Titian’s colour, Tintoretto’s audacity and Michelangelo’s heroic style. This eloquent combination, original yet consistent with his own way, gave El Greco a unique place in the history of painting, as the last grand master of the Renaissance and the first great painter of the Golden Age.

The first major retrospective in France dedicated to El Greco is currently at show until February 10, 2020, at Paris’ Grand Palais and is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). His work is presented as a product of different geographical influences, which combines Renaissance mastery with modern aesthetics.

Leading organizations in Europe and the United States have collaborated for this exhibition including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Louvre Museum, and the Réunion Des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais, thus symbolizing a modern version of Hellenism: the exchange of ideas, traditions and experiences that extend beyond the international boundaries and give hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to learn and be inspired by art.

The SNF looks forward to supporting important exhibitions exploring cultural heritage and highlighting the importance of art, particularly in France, to organizations such as the Louvre Museum and the Institut du Monde Arabe. The Foundation considers it vital to improve public access to the arts, as they help us better understand ourselves and reach out to different people.