Apostle St. James the Greater (1606; Spain) by El Greco

Apostle St. James the Greater - El Greco - 1606; Spain

Artwork Information

TitleApostle St. James the Greater
ArtistEl Greco
Date1606; Spain
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationEl Greco Museum, Toledo, Spain

About Apostle St. James the Greater

The artwork titled “Apostle St. James the Greater” was created by the renowned artist El Greco in 1606, during the span of the Mannerism movement in the Late Renaissance period. This religious painting, rendered in oil on canvas, exemplifies the unique stylings of El Greco and belongs to the collection at the El Greco Museum in Toledo, Spain.

In the artwork, St. James the Greater is depicted with a thoughtful and composed demeanor, his gaze directed upwards, possibly in spiritual contemplation or heavenly communication. The painting is characterized by El Greco’s signature use of elongated and exaggerated forms; St. James’s fingers are notably slender, and his facial features are sharply defined. His attire comprises a vividly hued green cloak that envelops his figure, creating deep folds and shadows, adding to the dynamic and somewhat ethereal quality of the piece. The palette is generally muted, except for the green cloak, which draws the viewer’s eye and emphasizes the saint’s sanctity. The lighting in the painting accentuates the contours of St. James’s face and hands, further reflecting the divine nature of the subject. The overall ambiance is one of solemnity and reverence, fitting for a depiction of a religious figure of such prominence.

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