with a quickened hand,
tips the canvas sunward
to defy the failing light
half-fearful that his flaming skies
might fall, his rising shadows catch a
nascent moon, the sweet-souled stars, in darkness.
Born in Crete in 1541, Domenikos Theotokopoulos became known as”El Greco” or “The Greek”, a reference to his heritage. After a move to Venice and time spent studying with Titian and Tintoretto, he traveled to Spain, where he took up residence in Toledo.
Known primarily for religious subjects and portraiture, he left only two landscapes from his time in Toledo: “View of Toledo“, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and “View and Plan of Toledo”, which hangs at the Museo Del Greco in Toledo, Spain. Both paintings reflect El Greco’s views on the primacy of color over form and his marvelous use of light.
In the latter days of July, we were treated to a particularly dramatic sunset. When I looked at the photos I’d taken from my balcony, I couldn’t help but think of El Greco. If he had painted a sunset, it might have looked akin to this deeply saturated Texas sky.
For more about El Greco, click here.
For more about the poetic form known as the Etheree, click here.