El Greco / Outline Biography
El Greco
El Greco
Greco's course
Greco's course
Greco's works in Greece Greco's works in Greece
Domenicos Theotocopoulos born in Candia (now Heraklion), Crete, as the second son of Georgios Theotocopoulos, a wealthy and respected citizen.

In a document issued by the Venetian Administration of Candia, Domenicos Theotocopoulos is referred to as a master painter.

Witnesses a Candia solicitor's document as 'maestro Menegos Theotocopoulos, artist'. He seeks permission from the Venetian authorities to one of his own icons, depicting the Passion of Christ, in a lottery. The icon is valued at eighty ducats but sold for seventy - an impressive sum at the time.

Leaves Crete for Venice. In August 1568 Theotocopoulos is known to have been in the capital of the Serene Republic, where he studied in the workshop of the famous artist Titian (Tiziano).

Quite probably on Titian's advice, he moves to Rome. An association is forged with the Farnense family, well-known patrons of the arts, in whose palazzo he takes up residence. In addition to meeting humanist intellectuals, he associates with several artists working in Rome at the time, such as Michelangelo and Raphael.

Domenico Greco is admitted as a member of the Accademia di San Lucia, the Rome artists' guild, as a 'pictor a cartibus' and opens his own workshop.

Francesco Prevoste (c. 1528-1607) is accepted as a pupil in El Greco's workshop. He continues to work with his master for the rest of his life.

Leaves Rome for Spain, possibly aided by his connections with the Farnese family.

Settles in Toledo.There he remains for the rest of his life, accepting commissions for works to adorn churches and other institutions in the town and its environs.

Birth of El Greco's son, Jorge Manuel. The artist never married Jorge's mother, Jeronima de las Cuevas.

On 25th April King Phillip II of Spain orders that a sum of money be granted to 'El Greco' so that he can carry out the commission known as The Martyrdom of St. Maurice and the Theban Legion.

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz is completed in the Church of Santo Tome in Toledo.

El Greco signs a contract for work adorning the Chapel of San Jose in Toledo, where St. Martin and the Beggar was painted.

Jorge Manuel is henceforth referred to as his father's partner and fellow artist.
One of his friends, a certain Luis Tristan de Escamilla, works as a pupil in El Greco's workshop. He is later to continue the tradition established by his master in Spain.

El Greco refuses to pay taxes, arguing that painting is a liberal and not a mechanical art. He is the first artist to be granted tax exempt status in Spain.

Paints The Adoration of the Shepherds, in the Church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo, in part payment for a family vault he bought in the church.

El Greco dies on 7th April. The inventory of articles found in his studio, compiled by his son, includes the following: three easels; one hundred and forty-three paintings; fifteen plaster models and thirty in clay and wax; twenty-seven books in Greek, sixty-seven in Italian and seventeen in Spanish; nineteen books on architecture; one hundred and fifty drawings, thirty plans and two hundred copper engravings.