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El Greco was a Greek artist whose painting and sculpture helped define the Spanish Renaissance and influence various movements to come.

El Greco was born Domenikos Theotokopoulos around 1541 in Crete, which was then part of the Republic of Venice. In his mid-20s, he travelled to Venice and studied under Titian, the most renowned painter of his day.

Around age 35 he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life, producing his best-known paintings.

His works from this period are seen as precursors of both Expressionism and Cubism, and his effect on Picasso’s evolution is just one thread of his influence.

He is remembered chiefly for his elongated, tortured figures, often religious in nature, the style of which baffled his contemporaries but helped establish his reputation in the years to come.

El Greco died on April 7, 1614, unappreciated in his time, with the art world waiting 250 years before embracing his status as a master.

His dramatic and expressionistic style – which often blended Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting – was met with puzzlement by his contemporaries but found appreciation in the 20th century.

He has been characterised by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school.

El Greco by Jacques Lassaigne is a 1973 first English edition published by Thames and Hudson, London, as part of The World of Art – Artists series.

It is a 264-page 14.5x20.5cm pictorial card soft cover in good used condition with 164 illustrations, 52 in colour.

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