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El Greco exhibition opens in Athens, as new film released on Greek-born master October 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Movies Life Greek.
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Long faces and swirling colors are all the rage in Athens, as a major exhibition on El Greco coincides with the release of a new film on the Greek-born master.

el_greco_painting.jpg  “El Greco and his workshop” brings together 45 oil paintings and other works by El Greco from Museums and collections in Spain, the U.S., Hungary and Switzerland, and opens to visitors on Wednesday.

The show, at the N.P. Goulandris Foundation-Museum of Cycladic Art, focuses on the output of El Greco’s large workshop in Spain, where the painter, whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos, lived from 1577 until his death in 1614.

Spain’s Queen Sofia and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis were to attend the official opening late Tuesday, 16 October. Queen Sofia also watched Monday’s worldwide first screening of “El Greco”, a Greek film with an international cast that opens in cinemas here on Thursday 18 October. The movie is directed by Yiannis Smaragdis, with a score by fellow Greek Vangelis Papathanassiou, who wrote the Oscar-winning music for “Chariots of Fire”.

el_greco_movie.jpg  Film producers are also organizing an exhibition of costumes and props from the film at Athens’ central Syntagma Square metro station. Most of the paintings at the Cycladic Art Museum are by El Greco’s pupils and assistants, including his illegitimate son Jorge Manuel, who probably joined the workshop in the mid-1590s and eventually became a partner. From his move to Spain in 1577 until about 1588, El Greco worked mostly alone, according to curator Nikos Hadjinicolaou. But popularity brought on a wave of orders that the artist was unable to keep up with single-handedly.

“In order to carry out his commissions, El Greco was obliged to maintain a workshop with assistants who were good enough painters to complete or add to many of the works he personally started, as well as apprentices,” Hadjinicolaou said.

Eight of the works are signed by the master himself, including “St. Veronica with the Holy Shroud” from the Santa Cruz Museum in Toledo and “The Adoration of the Shepherds” from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Born in Crete in 1541, El Greco worked in Italy and Spain. His highly individual art, with elongated figures, vibrant colors and disregard for the classical rules of painting, was prized during his lifetime but later fell out of favor, until it enjoyed strong acclaim in the 20th century.

The exhibition runs until January 5, 2008, although nine paintings will be returned to Spain’s Prado Museum in late November.

Related Links >
The N.P. Goulandris Foundation-Museum of Cycladic Art > http://www.cycladic-m.gr

El Greco official film > http://www.elgrecothemovie.com

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