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The Discovery of El Greco: The Nationalization of Culture Versus the Rise of Modern Art (1860-1915)

The sudden rise to fame of El Greco constitutes one of the most spectacular rediscoveries in art history.

Eric Storm
31 May 2016
Sussex Academic Press

This comprehensive study analyses how changes in artistic taste around 1860 caused a profound revision of the place of El Greco in the artistic canon. This shift in aesthetic preferences has been attributed to the rise of modern art, in particular of the Impressionists and Expressionists, but the author shows that in the case of El Greco nationalist motives were maybe even more important.

This book examines the work of painters, art critics, writers, scholars and philosophers from France, Germany and Spain, and the role of exhibitions, auctions, monuments and commemorations. Paintings and associated anecdotes are discussed, and historical debates such as El Greco’s supposed astigmatism are addressed in a highly readable and engaging style. This book will be of interest to both specialists and the interested art public. 

This book was originally published in Dutch in 2006 (De ontdekking van El Greco. Aartsvader van de moderne kunst, Bert Bakker) and translated to Spanish in 2011 (El descubrimiento del Greco. Nacionalismo y arte moderno (1860-1914), Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica (CEEH))

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