THE GREEK OF TOLEDO by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino


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Domenico Theotocopuli, voluntary exile at an early age from his native Crete, remained El Greco, the Greek"", throughout his student days in Venice as Titian's apprentice as he did throughout the flowering of his artistic triumphs in Spain. In this romantic recapitulation of his career and his two alleged romances--one with a wealthy young Spaniard who bore him a child and retreated subsequently into docile insanity, the other with a hardy, devoted peasant girl--there is not the slightest hint that here was a man capable of inflaming the canvas with a spiritual passion never quite equalled. One by one characters appear in poses reminiscent of paintings, but this mechanical fitting together of lives with subjects does little to illuminate the artist's work. Set against a period of spiritual turmoil, the Inquisition, El Greco emerges as a serious painter, concerned with matters of the spirit, shrewd, humorless, and in no way reflective of that immense passion of soul which dominated his work and render him, even today, the painter, par excellence, of man's consumption by a holy zeal. Weak as a novel, and hopelessly inadequate as a serious study of the artist, The Greek Of Toledo neither enlightens nor entertains.

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 1959
Publisher: Crowell