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The National Gallery of Art Holds El Greco Exhibition

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The National Gallery of Art has organized an exhibition, "El Greco in the National Gallery of Art and Washington-Area Collections: A 400th Anniversary Celebration," that is running from November 2nd until February 16th, 2015.

The National Gallery in the nation's capital holds seven works by the renowned painter El Greco (1541-1614). Just recently, the Laocoön, Christ Cleansing the Temple, and two altarpieces from a chapel in Toledo, have returned to the museum after being showcased in Spain, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the great Greek's passing. The four paintings are on display, along with three more from The Phillips Collections and Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., and with The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

El Greco or Domenikos Theotokopoulos, hailed from Crete where he became an expert Byzantine icon painter. He later moved to Venice where he mastered his craft under High Renaissance masters, specifically Titian and Tintoretto. He left for Rome in 1570 and studied Michelangelo's style.

In 1576, El Greco moved to Spain and spent the entirety of his life in Toledo, where his art succeeded. As the National Gallery of Art states, "Blending diverse influences — Byzantine, Renaissance, mannerist — he developed a unique style that captures the religious fervor of Counter-Reformation Spain."