Thursday, February 4, 2016

When In Doubt: El Greco



My credo here at Art & Argument is: When in doubt post an El Greco. Okay, but why this one, an engaged reader might wonder (and I have no other kind). Well because while attending a Christmas music service at the Episcopalian Trinity Church in Boston in December, I was struck by how in Christianity the savior of humankind is a baby, the embodiment of innocence. I'm not sure what that means. But somehow it connects with how, despite his innocence, and also because of his spiritual provocations, he was sacrificed on the cross, taking upon himself the guilt of the world.

As for the painting, it has all the hallmarks of El Greco greatness: The hugely energetic composition spurred on by the elongation of the forms, the waviness of the fabric, and the storminess of the sky. And, my favorite part, his utterly distinctive, mellow but bold, color palette.

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