• Sts Peter and Paul

    Artist:
    Greco El (Doménikos Theotokopoulos). 1541-1614
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    121,5x105 cm

Greco El (Doménikos Theotokopoulos). 1541-1614

Sts Peter and Paul

Spain, Between 1587 and 1592

El Greco is one of the most striking and original of artists and his work cannot be allocated to any one national school. A Greek by origin, he studied painting in Italy, in the studio of the great Titian, where he was strongly influenced by the Venetian colourists. From them he learned the technique of painting in oils. At the age of 35 he moved to the old Spanish capital, Toledo, where he became acquainted with Spanish Realist art. He was also inspired by the artistic devices employed in Italian Mannerism. El Greco stood out for the originality of his dramatically expressive style. In his portraits he devoted great attention to sharp psychological characterization. In this Hermitage painting he presents us with two different types of people. On the left is the apostle Peter, who three times denied knowing Christ, after His arrest. His appearance conveys sorrow and uncertainty, while his gaze and gesture have a sense of repentance and entreaty about them. The masterful apostle Paul, who as is well known was originally a zealous persecutor of Christians, is shown filled with spiritual ardour in his affirmation of the truth. It is possible that in his appearance the artist captured down his own features. The gestures of the hands that form the compositional centre of the work express a dialogue that nonetheless unites the two apostles.

Title:

Sts Peter and Paul

Place:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

121,5x105 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1911; a gift from P.P. Durnovo

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-390

Category:

Collection:

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