Portrait of Cardinal Tavera

size(cm): 45x35
Sale price£125 GBP


Portrait of Cardinal Tavera is a masterpiece of the Spanish artist El Greco, which was painted in 1608. The painting depicts the Cardinal Juan Pardo de Tavera, who was one of the most important figures in the Spanish Church during the 16th century. The painting is a perfect example of the artist's unique style, which is characterized by elongated figures, dramatic lighting, and bold colors.

One of the most interesting aspects of the painting is the composition. The Cardinal is depicted in a three-quarter pose, with his right hand resting on a table and his left hand holding a book. The composition is asymmetrical, with the Cardinal's head and shoulders positioned to the left of the canvas. The background is dark, which makes the figure of the Cardinal stand out even more.

The colors used in the painting are also very interesting. El Greco used a palette of rich, vibrant colors, such as red, blue, and gold. The Cardinal's robe is a deep shade of red, which contrasts with the dark background. The gold embroidery on the robe adds a touch of luxury and elegance to the painting.

The history of the painting is also fascinating. The Cardinal Tavera was a patron of the arts and commissioned El Greco to paint his portrait. However, the painting was not completed until after the Cardinal's death. The painting was then hung in the Cathedral of Toledo, where it remained for centuries. It was only in the 20th century that the painting was recognized as a masterpiece and moved to the Prado Museum in Madrid.

One aspect of the painting that is not well-known is the symbolism behind the Cardinal's pose and the objects in the painting. The Cardinal's right hand is resting on a table, which is a symbol of his power and authority. The book in his left hand represents his knowledge and wisdom. The Cardinal's pose is also reminiscent of the pose of Christ in many religious paintings, which suggests that the Cardinal was seen as a spiritual leader.

In conclusion, Portrait of Cardinal Tavera is a fascinating painting that showcases El Greco's unique style and the history of 16th century Spain. The composition, color, and symbolism make this painting a true masterpiece, and it is a must-see for anyone interested in art history.

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