Manusso Theotokopoulos
1603-4
Domenikos Theotokopoulos called El Greco (Spanish, born in Greece, 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.

Details

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