from 17/10/2007 until 5/1/2008

El Greco and his Workshop

El Greco’s workshop in Spain and its impact on 17th century Spanish painting


The Museum of Cycladic Art, in collaboration with SEACEX (Sociedad Estatal Para la Acción Cultural Exterior), presented the exhibition El Greco and his workshop / El Greco y su taller. The exhibition was sponsored by Iberdrola Renewables

The concept
The exhibition focused on El Greco’s workshop in Spain and its impact on 17th century Spanish painting. It included paintings made by the master himself, his students Jorge Manuel Theotocopuli (1578-1631) and Luis Tristan (ca. 1585-1624) and other artists who were affiliated with or influenced by his workshop.

Two or more versions of each iconographic theme were presented: the original, made by El Greco himself, and copies, produced by his students. In addition, there were some paintings that are considered “collective works”. In that way, visitors were able to trace the distinct style of each student and detect the influences exercised by the master. Radiographs helped visitors follow the various stages in the creation of a painted composition.

The exhibition addressed also the issue of authenticity. El Greco has been extensively forged in the 20th century. Modern technology allows for the detection of fakes, but as some collectors and museums refuse to test their Greco paintings, controversy over the authenticity of a considerable number of works is sustained. Visitors had the chance to view one painting that has been proved to be a modern forgery.

The exhibits
Altogether, 58 paintings were presented in the exhibition. They came from major museums

in Spain
| El Greco Museum – Toledo
| Museo de Santa Cruz – Toledo
| Prado Museum – Madrid
| Patrimonio Nacional: Palacio Real
| Real Monasterio de S. Lorenzo de El Escorial, Lazaro Galdiano – Madrid
| National Library – Madrid
| Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Fine Arts – Seville etc.),

the United States
| Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York
| Hispanic Society of America – New York

| Szépmüvészeti Museum – Budapest

| Bührle Collection

Of these, 8-10 paintings are almost certainly attributed to El Greco himself.


Carmen Garrido,
Prado Museum

José Alvarez Lopera,
Art historian,Prado Museum

Nicos Hadjinicolaou
Professor Emeritus of the University of Crete


Sociedad Estatal Para la Acción Cultural Exterior de España, SEACEX

Sociedad Estatal Para la Acción Cultural Exterior de España, SEACEX
N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art

Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
Spanish Ministry for Culture
The Spanish Embassy in Athens
Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha


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