(b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)
The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (detail)1586-88
Oil on canvas
Santo Tomé, Toledo
El Greco's most famous representation of the relationship between Heaven and Earth is The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. In the lower half there is a realistic representation of a burial service with contemporary mourners. Their physical individuality is emphasized by their different physical forms , the variety of their facial and gestural expressions, and the different textures of armour, cope, surplice, habit and civilian dress - the richly embroidered vestments of Saints Stephen and Augustine, the count damascened armour glinting in the gloom and reflecting the head of Saint Stephen in the breastplate, and the diaphanous surplice of the priest. The illusion is heightened by the inclusion of contemporary Toledans as mourners.