On the 400th anniversary of El Greco’s death, the National Gallery of Art and Washington—holder of the largest number of the artist’s works in the United States will present a commemorative exhibition of El Greco’s paintings. The exhibition will run from November 2, 2014 to February 16, 2015. See details about the exhibition and the museum’s schedule here.
From the early and derivative Cleansing of the Temple (before 1570) to the boldly innovative Laocoön (c. 1610/1614), his only mythological work, the exhibition includes 11 paintings from the Gallery and other Washington-area collections. A selection of devotional works illustrates the Greek-born painter’s role as artist of the Counter-Reformation.
The exhibition attests to El Greco’s special importance to American collectors of the last century, including Henry Walters, Mildred and Robert Bliss, Duncan Phillips, and the Gallery’s founding benefactors Andrew W. Mellon, Samuel H. Kress, Peter A. B. Widener, Joseph E. Widener, and Chester Dale.
In the Conservation Lab: El Greco’s Saint Martin and the Beggar:
Ann Hoenigswald, senior conservator of paintings, and Felix Monguilot Benzal, 2012-2013 Kress Interpretive Fellow, review the conservation treatment of El Greco’s Saint Martin and the Beggar (1597/1599). In 2014, Spain will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos, 1541-1614) with major exhibitions of the artist’s works. Upon completion of treatment, the Gallery will loan Saint Martin and the Beggar and its companion painting Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes to their city of origin for The Greek in Toledo exhibition at the Museum of Santa Cruz, Toledo. In this video from January 22, 2013, Hoenigswald and Monguilot Benzal reveal how the original texture and color of the paint will return once a layer of discolored varnish is removed. The Kress Interpretive Fellowship is supported by a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to provide a new kind of mentored professional development opportunity within American art museums.