Manusso Theotokopoulos
Domenikos Theotokopoulos called El Greco (Greek, active in Spain, 1541-1614)
On View

Born on the island of Crete, El Greco was trained as an icon painter. In 1567 he moved to Venice where the tradition of Venetian coloring and facture, expressed in the art of Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese, inspired him. El Greco courted patronage from the Church in Rome, and later when he moved to Spain from the royal court of Madrid, with limited success. In the Spanish city of Toledo however, he discovered an enthusiastic audience for his religious images and portraits.

No other artist painted like El Greco. Explanations for his audacious use of color, erratic light effects, and elongated figures have included an innate spiritual mysticism, personal eccentricity, and even visual aberrations. His singular approach to portraiture is evident in this depiction of his brother Manusso (c. 1529–1604), a mariner by profession. Though El Greco’s palette is restrained, a convention for male portraiture of this period, his brother’s attenuated features, take on an otherworldly character thanks also to the robust brushwork employed to describe the stiff fur collar and cap, and Manusso’s unfocused, ruminative aspect.


  • Artist Name: Domenikos Theotokopoulos called El Greco (Greek, active in Spain, 1541-1614)
  • Title: Manusso Theotokopoulos
  • Date: 1603-4
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 18-1/2 x 15-1/4 in. (47.0 x 38.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1969.15.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Private collection, Bologna.
Barone Michele Lazzaroni, Modena and Paris.
Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, Florence, by 1930, sold, through E.V. Thaw and Co., New York, to;
The Norton Simon Foundation.

The Old Spanish Masters from the Contini-Bonacossi Collection

  • Rome, Gallery of Modern Art, 1930-05 to 1930-07

Domenico Theotocopuli: El Greco, Exposition organisée par la "Gazette des Beaux-Arts"

  • Paris Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1937 to

Excellence: Art from the University Community

  • University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, 1970-11-06 to 1971-01-09

Six Centuries of Portraiture from the Permanent Collection

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1989-11-02 to 1990-12-16
  • Goldscheider, Ludwig, El Greco, pl. 195
  • Babelon, J., El Greco, pl. 76
  • Mayer, August L., El Greco, pl. 115 p. 158
  • Hartmann, A.; and Maurice Legendre, Dominikos Theotokopoulos, called El Greco, 1937, p. 71
  • Mayer, August L., El Greco, 1946, no. 347, pl. LXXXIX
  • Camon Aznar, José, Domenico Greco, 1950, fig. 5 p. 1129
  • Gaya Nuno, Juan Antonio, La Pintura Española fuera de España, 1958, no. 1378
  • Venturi, Lionello, L'Arte, 1959, pp. 76-77
  • Wethey, Harold, El Greco and his School, 1962, no. X-196 p. 207
  • Frati, Tiziana, L'opera completa del Greco, 1969, no. 73 p. 105
  • Bourgeois, S., Art Quarterly, 1971, fig. 7 pp. 14-15
  • Gudiol, Jose, The Complete Paintings of El Greco 1541-1614, 1983, no. 217, fig. 233 p. 251
  • De' Giorgio, Elsa, L'eredità Contini Bonacossi: L'ambiguo rigore del vero, 1988, fig. 37
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 28
  • Mayer, August L., Apollo, 2003, p. 4
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 643 p. 322
  • Fernando Marias, El Greco: Life and Work - A New History, 2013, pp.26 p. 58
  • various, El Griego de Toldeo / The Greek of Toledo, 2014, Fig. 4 p. 22
  • Richard L. Kagan, Ioannis Hassiotis, Nicos Hadjinicolaou, Friends and Patrons of El Greco in Toledo, 2014, 11 pp. 80-81
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form