Art: El Greco's Arrogant Genius

In Washington, the largest show ever in his paintings

The name El Greco automatically conjures up a whole congeries of images, different images for different generations, different concepts for those of different critical persuasions. For 250 years after his death, he was dismissed as bizarre or eccentric. He could not draw. Perhaps he was even mad. Then the French, led by dissenters from the academic tradition like Manet, rediscovered him as a great dissenter. Next the German expressionists like Marc and Kandinsky found in him a justification for the distortion of form to express passion...

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