Shadows and Distortions by El Greco


This research/ critical analysis and interpretation essay should be about El Greco and how he “moved” like no other artist and more specifically the use of shadow, light and distortions in his artwork. Examples of El Greco’s work should be used to show all of the above.

“The Adoration of the Shepherds” by El Greco. This art work and information about it can be found through the Metropolitan Museum of Art webpage.

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Shadows and Distortions by El Greco

Publishing, Britannica Educational, and Kathleen Kuiper. Painters of the Renaissance. Chicago: Britannica Educational Pub, 2013. <>.

The authors argue that the use of light, shadows, and distortions saw El Greco move by far like no other artists. For more than a period of 250 years since his death, El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) was considered as an insane and extravagant painter who deserved less than a footnote in the history of art.  In fact, his work has been criticized by some scholars during and after his time. For example, Antonio Palomino, a Spanish artist dismissed the work of El Greco as ridiculous and disgraceful especially on the disjointed drawing, as well as, the unpleasant color. However, it was not until the mid of the 19th century that people began at looking at his work deeper. In fact it was from the daring perspective of Greco, audacious light, color, and distortions that Greco’s ,once critics established reinforcement and basis for their own ideas on art. El Greco stands as among the greatest prophets of modern art for Expressionists and European Romantics. In fact, a significant number of individuals have struggled to comprehend the complexities in the work of Greco, developing theories and paradigms that have lasted up to date, but which have little foundation. Despite all these, Greco’s work represents high competency in the field of art. This is reflected in his work, “The Adoration of the Shepherds”, painted in the last years of his life.


Kuiper, Kathleen. The 100 Most Influential Painters & Sculptors of the Renaissance. New York, NY: Britannica Educational Pub. in association with Rosen Educational Services, 2010.

The author notes that the painting once adorned the painter’s tomb in a church known as the Monastery of St. Dominic located in Toledo. In fact, the painting was later used in the altar for which it was meant initially…..

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