" ... a thoughtful and stimulating introduction to the art of the Cretan artist, filled with intuitive and subtle observations that -- meeting the author's promise in the introduction -- succeed in presenting El Greco's radical originality, his "extravagant" style as some of his contemporaries put it, as the result of a dynamic while critical dialogue with the art of his time." - Felipe Pereda, Seventeenth-Century News, 2020
"The color reproductions and notes are commendable. This volume makes El Greco seem much more at home in his own period than previous scholarship has. Summing Up: Recommended." - P. Emison, University of New Hampshire, CHOICE Reviews, July 2019
The Pictorial Art of El Greco: Transmaterialities, Temporalities, and Media investigates El Greco’s pictorial art as foundational to the globalising trends manifested in the visual culture of early modernity. It also exposes the figurative, semantic, and allegorical senses that El Greco created to challenge an Italian Renaissance-centered discourse. Even though he was guided by the unprecedented burgeoning of devotional art in the post-Tridentine decades and by the expressive possibilities of earlier religious artifacts, especially those inherited from the apostolic past, the author demonstrates that El Greco forged his own independent trajectory. While his paintings have been studied in relation to the Italian and Spanish school traditions, his pictorial art in a global Mediterranean context continues to receive scant attention. Taking a global perspective as its focus, the book sheds new light on El Greco’s highly original contribution to early Mediterranean and multi-institutional configurations of the Christian faith in Byzantium, Venice, Rome, Toledo, and Madrid.
Livia Stoenescu is Associate Professor of Art History at the College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, College Station. She is the editor of Creative and Imaginative Powers in the Pictorial Art of El Greco (Brepols, 2016). In El Greco studies only, her contributions include "Pictorial Allegory in El Greco’s Laocoön of Toledo," RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics (2017) and "The Dialogue of Classical and Devotional Cultures in El Greco’s Laocoön of Toledo," Comitatus (2015).