Burial Of El Greco Essay, Research Paper
Burial of Count Orgaz by El Greco
This painting is the Burial of Count Orgaz by El Greco (the Geek) his real name Domenikos Theotocopoulos. It hangs on the wall in the vestibule of the church of Santo Tome in Toledo, Spain and was painted in 1586. It is oil on canvas and was made to fit the very wall it hangs today. The painting does have a Round top making it a very odd fit for anywhere but the church for it to hang.
The artist used many dark shades Blue and blacks with yellow and red in the items of importance and detail. White was very common. There was only one other color sort of hid in the robe of St Augastine,Green. He put alot of details in the things that he wanted the audience to pay attention to. The cross for example on the middle right, the keys to the gates of heaven held by saint peter on the top left and a nice touch with the priest with the skull on his rob on the bottom right.
This is the first completely personal work by the artist. There are no longer any references to Roman or Venetian formulas or motifs. He has succeeded in eliminating any description of space. There is no ground, no horizon, no sky and no perspective. Accordingly, there is no conflict, and a convincing expression of a supernatural space is achieved.
The painting has a couple of oddities with the boy pointing to the seal on the St. Stephen’s robe but his other hand is sort of contorted. The faces of the people seem to be stuck here and there and don?t seem to be natural flowing like a crowd should be in the mist of a vision .We get a glimpse of the artist above St Augustine?s Hat as he looks up at his own art. And the boy is his son turns out to be his son.
The painting is very clearly divided into two zones, the heavenly above and the terrestrial below, but there is little feeling of duality. The upper and lower zones are brought together compositionally (e.g., by the standing figures, by their varied participation in the earthly and heavenly event, by the torches, cross, etc. The grand circular mandorla-like pattern of the two Saints descended from Heaven echoes the pattern formed by the Virgin and Saint John the Baptist, and the action is given explicit expression. The point of equilibrium is the outstretched hand poised in the void between the two Saints, whence the mortal body descends, and the Soul, in the medieval form of a transparent and naked child, is taken up by the angel to be received in Heaven. The supernatural appearance of the Saints is enhanced by the splendor of color and light of their gold vestments. The powerful cumulative emotion expressed by the group of participants is suffused and sustained through the composition by the splendor, variety and vitality of the color and of light.
The painting illustrates a popular local legend. In 1312, a certain Don Gonzalo Ruiz, native of Toledo, and Se?or of the town of Orgaz, died (the family received the title of Count, by which he is generally known, only later). He was a pious man who, among other charitable acts, left moneys for the enlargement and adornment of the church of Santo Tome (El Greco’s parish church). At his burial, Saint Stephen and Saint Augustine intervened to lay him to rest. The occasion for the commission of the painting for the chapel, in which the Se?or was buried, was the resumption of the tribute payable to the church by the town of Orgaz, which had been withheld for over two centuries.
All in all a very interesting piece of art. Though he is kind of a nock off of Michelangelo.