EL GRECO. From Italy to Toledo
TECHNICAL STUDY OF WORKS IN THE THYSSEN- BORNEMISZA COLLECTION
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco (Candia, 1541-Toledo, 1614), we are pleased to present the results of the technical study of the works in the ThyssenBornemisza Collection. By using chemical analyses, X-rays and infrared imaging, we are able to conduct research that sheds new light on the artist’s material and conceptual evolution in works from the two phases of his career under study—his years in Italy and in Spain—over the course of approximately two decades. The results of this research confirm the development of his formal and material evolution from an early period conditioned and influenced by the Italian masters—as we can clearly see in the architectural composition revealed by X-rays and infrared imaging—to his Spanish phase, when underdrawings all but disappeared from his paintings, his brushstrokes were looser and more subjective, and he combined impasto and glazing in no apparent order. The work of his final years is the culmination of an unmistakably personal style characterised by elongated figures blurred with Impressionist touches, a reflection of El Greco’s intellectual and technical maturity.