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Byzantine Museum Launches Free Guided Tours for Exhibition Dedicated to El Greco

el_greco_banner_en_1The Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens has announced a series of free guided tours for the exhibition “Domemicos Theotokopoulos before El Greco”, which was inaugurated last month.

The exhibition is part of the Greek program of events organized for the El Greco Year, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of the famous painter.

The first guided tour will take place on January 15. Press here for the full program (in Greek) of the guided tours.

The exhibition, which runs until March 31, seeks to shed light on the social and artistic environment of 26th-century Crete, where Theotokopoulos’ personality was formed before he left Candia for Venice in 1567, and to place the painter and his early artistic output in the context of this environment.

The exhibition is in three parts.

The first part focuses on Crete’s importance to Venice in the 16th century and maps the island’s social, ideological and economic structure in terms of the relationship between its urban and rural contexts.

The second part examines the arts within the island’s cosmopolitan urban environment, stressing the ways in  which Cretan artists strove to combine the Byzantine and Western traditions.

The final section constructs an interpretation of Theotokopoulos’ Crete through a stylistic examination of his  work and its comparison with the oeuvres of other Cretan painters. What was it that convinced Theotokopoulos to leave Crete for Venice in the autumn of 1567 or the spring of 1568?

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