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    With its otherworldly elongated forms and instantly recognisable proto-modern style the art of El Greco continues to fascinate.  His View of Toledo from about 1598-99, normally at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is to travel to the Art Institute of Chicago for a major exhibition titled El Greco: Ambition and Defiance to run from March 7 to June 21. Born in Crete and trained as an icon painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos moved to Venice in 1567 and  later sought patronage within the papal circle. El Greco’s outspoken criticism of Michelangelo meant he received no commissions from the church during the six years he spent in Rome from 1570-1576. He moved to Toledo in 1577 and earned a major commission for an altarpiece now in the collection of the Art Institute.  After falling out with the powers that be at Toledo Cathedral he embarked on a career as a portraitist.  The Chicago show, organised jointly with the Reunion des musees nationaux, Grand Palais, Paris and The Louvre, will bring together over 55 paintings and sculptures from the output of this remarkable Old Master.

    El Greco – View of Toledo

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