Fray Hortensio Félix Paravicino

1609
El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (Greek (active in Spain), 1541–1614)


Dimensions

Overall: 112.1 x 86.1cm (44 1/8 x 33 7/8in.) Framed: 152.4 x 125.1 cm (60 x 49 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

04.234

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

William I. Koch Gallery (Gallery 250)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Paintings

El Greco was born on Crete and trained in Italy before emigrating in his thirties to Spain. Best known for his intense and spiritual religious paintings, El Greco was also a perceptive and powerful portraitist. Paravicino, a close friend of the artist, was an important theologian, orator, and poet. Limiting the colors almost entirely to the black and white of the friar’s habit, El Greco created a subtle and compelling image that emphasizes psychological rather than physical presence. The work was purchased in 1904 on the recommendation of John Singer Sargent, another great portraitist and an admirer of Spanish art.

Inscription

Center right: domenikos theotokopoulos / e’poiei (in Greek characters)

Provenance

By 1724, Duque de Arcos, Madrid [see note 1]. By 1786, Convent of San Hermenegildo, Madrid (?) [see note 2]. Until 1904, Javier de Muguiro, Madrid; 1904, sold by Muguiro to the MFA for $17,166. (Accession Date: May 1, 1904) NOTES: [1] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file, Antonio Palomino recorded the painting there in 1724; see his “El Parnaso Español” vol. 3 (1724), p. 287. [2] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file, this painting was listed in the inventory of the convent in 1786.

Credit Line

Isaac Sweetser Fund