TOWARD the end of the 16th century a strange, aloof figure — came to the Spanish hilltop town of Toledo. His origins were obscure, and his name—Domenikos Theotokopoulos—was so difficult that he was called simply El Greco (The Greek). He said he was born in Crete, boasted that he had been a student of Titian and, as one Toledo Spaniard recorded, "he let it be understood that nothing in the world was superior to his art." Certainly the stranger had at his brush tip not only Titian's designs but also all the secrets of Tintoretto's theatrical fireworks and Correggio's dramatic lighting...

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