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Saint Luke

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) Greek

Not on view

El Greco would have felt some kinship with the Evangelist Luke, the patron saint of painters, who came from the Hellenistic city of Antioch. In this composition, the head and shoulders correspond closely to those in a painting in Toledo Cathedral, in which Luke is shown as a painter, holding an open book with an image of the Virgin and Child. In the present picture, El Greco stresses the saint’s role as a writer—the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. In paintings like this one, El Greco often made use of studio assistants, but here the head and hand must be by the master himself.

Saint Luke, El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (Greek, Iráklion (Candia) 1541–1614 Toledo), Oil on canvas

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