The Easel

El Greco in New York

El Greco lived the first half of his life in Crete, moved to Rome in an unsuccessful search for a major patron, thence to Madrid for a similar outcome, before finally settling in Toledo. His masterpieces languished in church basements for nearly 300 years until newly appreciated by Picasso, among others. The basis of his modern appeal is that he abandoned the precision of Byzantine iconography in pursuit of the great Renaissance painting idea – the imperfect details of personality. A major retrospective in Toledo in 2014 has been followed by a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.