(b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)
The Opening of the Fifth Seal (detail)1608-14
Oil on canvas, detail size 112 x 92 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The upper section of this painting, the actual vision of the Apocalypse, was never finished by El Greco. In the course of a "restoration" about the year 1880, the picture was trimmed by at least 175 cm. As a result, the dramatic gesture of John the Evangelist points nowhere, a non sequitur that nevertheless has apparently intrigued modern viewers especially.