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

St John the Baptist

Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash, heightened with white on paper, 136 x 55 mm
Private collection

The two drawings, representing St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist, probably once formed a much larger composition depicting the altarpiece commissioned by Diego de Castilla from El Greco for Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo. In its original state the complete drawing would have served as a 'contract piece' which El Greco would have presented and discussed with his patron.

Unlike St John the Baptist, the figure of St John the Evangelist was considerably altered between the drawing and the painting.