Discovering El Greco

View of Toledo by El Greco
View of Toledo by El Greco

In January, 1929, Louisine Havemeyer gave her late husband’s art collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Havemeyer had made a fortune as the president of the American Sugar Refining Company, also known as Domino Sugar.

Henry and Louisine Havemeyer
Henry and Louisine Havemeyer
The Havemeyers had travelled extensively in Europe to acquire paintings by artists that the other American collectors did not know about.

One of the countries they visited was Spain, and one of the artists they “discovered” was El Greco.

Their interest in El Greco’s paintings transformed him from an obscure sixteenth-century painter to one of the giants of the art world.

When I was sixteen, I had the opportunity to visit Spain. We toured the Museo del Prado, and I laid eyes on the paintings of El Greco for the first time.

El Greco
El Greco
To say that they are ethereal is an understatement. To say that they are sublime is to say too little. To say that they are spiritual is true–but it sounds lame. El Greco is simply the greatest, in a class by himself.

There are some El Grecos in Washington, at the National Gallery of Art.

Any opportunity to see a painting by El Greco should be immediately seized.

…Speaking of greatness:

Fourth and two? Here is how you stuff that situation:

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