Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Page 126

Fig. 16.2 El Greco, Lady in a Fur Wrap, oil on canvas, ca. 1577-1580, 62 x 59 cm, Glasgow,
Stirling Maxwell Collection, Pollok House.
Fig. 16.3 Jorge Manuel Theotocópuli, The Artist’s Family, ca. 1605, oil on canvas, 171 x 91 cm, Madrid, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando.
Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, usually attributed to the artist’s
technique used when working in such reduced dimensions relates
son Jorge Manuel. This latter comparison has resulted in the
to that employed in Byzantine painting, recalling the artist’s
woman being identified as the artist’s daughter-in-law, Alfonsa de
training as a painter of icons in Crete.2
los Morales. While it is impossible to identify the female sitter with
any certainty, the reproduction of the original signed painting in
I rene B rooke
the form of a miniature makes the suggestion of a family member
or someone close to the artist appealing. El Greco’s interest in the
art of miniature, or more specifically la piccola pittura, originated
in his early years in Rome where he befriended the famed papal
Fig. 16.1 El Greco,
Portrait of a Woman,
ca. 1595, oil on
canvas, New York,
Private Collection.
illuminator Giulio Clovio, whom he painted on at least two
occasions (see intro. fig. 15). Throughout his career, El Greco
experimented with reworking compositions on a small scale; the
See Harold E. Wethey, El Greco and his School (Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 1963) pp. 92-93, no. 146, and Enriqueta Harris-Frankfort, "El Greco’s
Fortuna Critica in Britain," in El Greco of Crete, ed. Nicos Hadjinicolaou (Irklion:
The Institute for Mediterranean Studies, 1995), p. 484.
For a discussion of El Greco’s pitture piccole see Ruiz Gómez, "Domenico Greco y
la piccola pittura."


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