Paintings between 1581 and 1585

In addition to major altarpieces, El Greco did a booming trade in devotional pictures. Although rarely documented, these work supplied the artist's daily bread and were produced by him and his workshop in impressive quantities. It appears that he had a sort of sample case which could be shown to prospective customers, who would choose from reduced versions stored in a small room. The reason for the popularity of El Greco's devotional paintings is obvious: they are brilliantly rendered, and they also capture the piety and emotion of Counter-Reformation spirituality. Examples are St Peter in Penitence, and Mary Magdalen in Penitence.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 2 minutes):
Michael Praetorius: Motet

Preview Picture Data Info
The Veil of St Veronica
Oil on canvas, 51 x 66 cm
Private collection

Mary Magdalen in Penitence
Oil on canvas, 108 x 87 cm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest
Oil on canvas, 81 x 66 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Portrait of a Gentleman
Oil on canvas, 66 x 55 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The Disrobing of Christ
Oil on canvas, 165 x 99 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception and St John
c. 1585
Oil on canvas, 237 x 118 cm
Museo de Santa Cruz, Toledo

The Holy Family
c. 1585
Oil on canvas, 106 x 87,5 cm
The Hispanic Society of America, New York

St Francis Praying
Oil on canvas, 116 x 102 cm
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska

St Peter in Penitence
Oil on canvas, 109 x 90 cm
Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

Summary of paintings by El Greco
Crete: before 1567 | Venice: 1567-70 | Rome: 1570-75
1576-80 (page 1) (page 2) | 1581-85 | 1586-90 | 1591-95 | 1596-1600
Santo Domingo: 1577-79 | Count Orgaz: 1586-88 | Colegio: 1596-1600
Capilla San José: 1597-99 | Illescas: 1603-05 | Apostolado: 1610-14
c. 1600 | 1601-05 | 1606-10 | c. 1610 | after 1610
Oballe Chapel: 1608-13 | Hospital Tavera: 1608-14 | Drawings | Sculptures

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