(b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)
Portrait of Cardinal Tavera1608-14
Oil on canvas, 103 x 83 cm
Hospital Tavera, Toledo
This portrait is an example of El Greco's late work. Juan Pardo de Tavera (1472-1545) held both important ecclesiastical and political offices under Charles V, being active among other things as Grand Inquisitor and government chief of Castile. He founded in 1541 the Hospital de San Juan Bautista. By the time of his portrayal, however, he had long been deceased, the portrait was commissioned by Pedro Salazar de Mendoza, an important figure in Toledo's religious life, and the administrator of the Hospital de San Juan Bautista.
The painting is signed at the bottom right.