El Greco: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (1586)

(Santo Tomé, Toledo, Spain)

A famous painting by El Greco. El Greco was born as Doménikos Theotokópoulos on Crete - 'El Greco'(the Greek) is his nickname under which he is known today. The subject of this painting is a Spanish legend. The subject of this painting is the burial of Don Gonzalo Ruíz from Orgaz (his family later received the title of count). Don Gonzalo Ruíz a good and a pious man who did a number of charitable acts. According to the legend during the burial of Gonzalo Ruíz, Saint Stephen and Saint Augustine descended in person from the heavens and buried him by their own hands. El Greco has divided the painting into two sections. In the lower half we can see the miracle. El Greco and his son are also present on this painting. El Greco is the man  directly above the raised hand of one of the mourners immediately above the head of Saint Stephen (the saint without a mitre). The young boy is Jorge Manuel, the son of El Greco. The upper section we can see heaven. Don Gonzalo Ruíz is shown with Christ , Maria, John the Baptist and a number of apostles, martyrs and Biblical kings. The style of El Greco is very unique (especially as he is a 16/17th century painter) and modern artists regard him as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism. Painting from 1586.