St. Andrew and St. Francis (1587-97) by El Greco


Artwork Information

TitleSt. Andrew and St. Francis
ArtistEl Greco
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions167 x 113 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid
Location Created Spain
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About St. Andrew and St. Francis

El Greco’s painting, produced in Toledo, Spain between 1595-1598, depicts Saint Andrew and Saint Francis of Assisi engaged in conversation. The painting is now exhibited in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Andrew and his brother Peter were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, while Francis founded the Franciscan order.

The painting shows both saints standing under a leaden stormy sky with their typical attributes. El Greco depicts the wounds on Francis’s elegant hands as symbols associated with his sainthood surround him. Saint Andrew appears beside him. An early-seventeenth-century reduced workshop replica of the figure of the apostle highlights El Greco’s impact on art.

El Greco skillfully uses contrasting colors to emphasize austerity and devotion to faith. The overall composition emphasizes an interaction between light and darkness by using vibrant reds, blues and greens against muted browns and greys for contrast.Together with its details depicting thought-provoking perspectives along with intriguing personalities make this artwork a must-see wherever it is exhibited.

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