sunday is free day at palacio de bellas artes, which meant yesterday mexico city gave me the gift of el greco, ¡tan precioso!
this has happened before, where i finally see a master in real life and am blown away. i’d actually seen some el greco stuff at the prado in madrid, and it was pretty cool, but this.
my head was buzzing, about the way his style, his vision, overtook naturalism, speeding onward into expressionism… and then i realized he was doing this in the late 1500s. those crackers who colonized north america were still in britain sleeping with their livestock to keep warm at night.
i also found out that el greco was being this cool while managing a taller that “mass produced” copies of his more commercially successful works (religious stuff, huge commodity).
and THEN i saw this.
yes, veronica is dead-ghost white and yes, jesus’s head is floating in a veil. cut-ting edge.
el greco was born in crete, and as such grew up around a bunch of icons. he later on went to rome where michaelangelo changed his life; then he went to spain where he would get paid more. he started this painting, La Veronica, in 1577, right after he moved to spain. he finished it in 1580.