(b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)

The Resurrection

Oil on canvas, 210 x 128 cm
Church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo, Toledo

Painted for the side altar on the Epistle side (right) of the church, and still in place. Probably painted 1578-79, following the completion of the High Altarpiece. The presence of Saint Ildefonso, the patron Saint of Toledo, was stipulated in the documents. Diego de Castilla, the Dean of Toledo Cathedral, is probably represented in this figure, which certainly is a portrait. The figure assists in setting an ideal plane for the enacting of the mystic event. El Greco has eliminated the intrusion of an incongruous space. The ground running parallel with the plane of the action produces no conflict. The rhythm of the passages of colour and light over the surface helps to hold together the composition, with its dramatic split revealing the figure of the Risen Christ. What suggestions remain of an ordinary conception of space, of corporeality and of a schematic quality of composition, disappear in his final version of the subject (painted in 1596-1600, now in the Prado, Madrid).