Apostle St. Andrew (c.1610; Spain) by El Greco

Apostle St. Andrew - El Greco - c.1610; Spain

Artwork Information

TitleApostle St. Andrew
ArtistEl Greco
Datec.1610; Spain
Dimensions70 x 53 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)

About Apostle St. Andrew

The artwork titled “Apostle St. Andrew” is crafted by El Greco, a renowned artist of the Mannerism movement during the Late Renaissance. Dated around 1610 and originating from Spain, this religious painting is rendered in oil on canvas. The piece measures 70 by 53 centimeters and exemplifies the distinct style of El Greco with its expressive use of color and form.

In this depiction of Apostle St. Andrew, El Greco presents the saint with a thoughtful, introspective expression. The figure is shown at an angle, with a strong diagonal line suggested by the prominent positioning of the cross, which is as much a symbol of his martyrdom as it is a compositional element that adds a sense of depth to the work. St. Andrew is depicted with a venerable beard and aged features, representative of wisdom and piety. His gaze is slightly upward, perhaps in spiritual contemplation or divine communication. The saint’s right hand is delicately raised, clutching the cross, which is a recurring motif in depictions of St. Andrew as he was said to have been crucified on an X-shaped cross. El Greco’s use of chiaroscuro—the contrast of light and shadow—gives the painting a dynamic and dramatic aura, while the elongation of the saint’s form and the swirling drapery of his garments are distinctive of the Mannerist approach to breaking from the proportional norms of the High Renaissance. The brushwork, blending of colors, and the emotional intensity of the face all contribute to a powerful representation of faith and devotion characteristic of El Greco’s religious compositions.

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