St. Idelfonso (c.1613; Spain) by El Greco

St. Idelfonso - El Greco - c.1613; Spain

Artwork Information

TitleSt. Idelfonso
ArtistEl Greco
Datec.1613; Spain
Dimensions219 x 105 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationEl Escorial, Madrid, Spain

About St. Idelfonso

The artwork titled “St. Ildefonso” was created by the artist El Greco around 1613 in Spain. This oil on canvas painting belongs to the Mannerism movement of the Late Renaissance and measures 219 x 105 cm. It is a religious painting depicting St. Ildefonso, and it is displayed at El Escorial in Madrid, Spain.

The artwork features a full-length portrait of St. Ildefonso, a revered bishop in the Catholic Church. He is depicted in ecclesiastical vestments with rich, intricate embroidery, mirroring the elaborate designs of Mannerist art. The saint’s attire includes a highly ornamented mitre upon his head and a lavish chasuble adorned with decorative motifs. In his left hand, he holds a crosier, symbolizing his pastoral authority, and with his right hand, he supports an open book, likely representing the scriptures or theological text.

El Greco’s distinctive style is evident in the elongated forms of St. Ildefonso’s hands and face, the dramatic folds of his garments, and the use of swirling clouds in the background that add a sense of mystical intensity to the painting. The saint’s composed expression and the ethereal background give the artwork a heavenly character, reflecting the spiritual importance of St. Ildefonso and his scholarly contributions to the Church. El Greco’s palette includes a mix of earthly tones in the vestments contrasted with the celestial blues and grays in the background, which draws attention to both the humanity and divinity of the saint.

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