The retrospective of El Greco at the Grand Palais in Paris. Read this information to know more about it.
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Culture

El Greco settles into Grand Palais until 2020

By María D. Valderrama / Paris / France will for the first time on its territory bring together the works of Doménikos Theotokópoulos, better known as El Greco, for an exhibition that examines an artistic style so ahead of its time that it went on to inspire modern greats like Picasso, Modigliani and Cézanne.

The retrospective of this unique Renaissance figure will run at the Grand Palais in Paris from 16 October to 10 February 2020 and is no doubt one of France’s cultural highlights this season thanks to a broad collection of El Greco pieces on loan from countries around the world.

Portrait of Cardinal Nino de Guevara and The Holy Family with Mary Magdalen from the United States, Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple from the United Kingdom and a selection of other canvasses from Greece, Spain, Italy, Canada and Denmark will allow visitors an in-depth look at the artist’s career.

The exhibit hopes to address that oft-held misconception, especially in France, that El Greco (1541-1614) was a simple portraitist of Catholic devotion and show that he was, in fact, a pioneer of modern technique ahead of his time.

“If we look at La visión de San Juan (Opening of the Fifth Seal) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, we already see Cézanne’s painting,” Guillaume Kientz, the curator of the exhibition in Paris, said.

The legacy of El Greco is color and this battle to reinvent the image, which is what modern painters had to do after the invention of photography,” he added.

The exhibit offers a tour through El Greco’s life, from his origins in Crete, where he began painting in accordance with typical Byzantine tradition of icons, to Italy, where he struggled to fit in despite his adopted Venetian style to Toledo, Spain, and his final years in which he consolidated his style with those whitish, elongated and candle-like figures.

His character, which was perceived as arrogant, and his status as a foreigner, which impeded his ability to fully express himself, were obstacles in his integration in Spain, according to Kientz.

“In his Italian stage he is an Italian painter, Venetian. A Venetian painter in Rome fit perfectly within the landscape of Italian painting,” Kientz said.

“When he arrived in Madrid and Toledo his painting style was new to the Spanish public, which was a bit old-fashioned,” he added.

A steady flow of orders from the Catholic Church, which often paid him late and bartered after paintings had been delivered, and portraiture allowed him to make a living off his art but it did not prevent centuries off belittlement that only came to a close with the arrival of the avant-garde, which erases erroneous labels of eccentricity and even craziness.

“What is it with people and Velázquez nowadays? I prefer El Greco a thousand times more. He was an authentic painter!” Picasso said in an interview with Argentine journalist Roberto Otero in 1966.

Kientz believes El Greco to be the most important historical painter for the art world in the 20th century and perhaps even the beginning of the 21st.

“The paradox is that the public knows El Greco but does not know him, it knows his images but the substance of his painting,” he said.

In collaboration with the Louvre and the Art Institute of Chicago, the exhibition will also present the Assumption of the Virgin, a huge canvass standing four meters tall, for the first time since its recent restoration. (October 12, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)

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Comprehension

Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas (Read the news and answer the questions)

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Question 1
Principalmente, en el texto se habla... (Mainly, it's said in the text that...)
A
de los museos que tienen en sus colecciones obras de El Greco.
B
de una exposición sobre cómo El Greco trató de reinventar la imagen.
C
simplemente de las obras más conocidas de El Greco.
Question 2
En el texto se dice que... (It's said in the text that...)
A
Kientz considera que El Greco quiso reiventar la imagen al igual que los artistas modernos.
B
se desmiente que las obras de El Greco no hayan sido muy valoradas durante siglos.
C
casi nadie cree que El Greco pintara solo cuadros de carácter religioso.
Question 3
Según el texto... (According to the text...)
A
las obras de El Greco destacan porque son sombrías y poco coloridas.
B
una obra de Picasso influyó la forma en la que El Greco pintó "La Sagrada Familia".
C
las figuras alargadas con tonos próximos al blanco son propias de la última etapa de El Greco.
Question 4
Esta exposición se podrá ver... (This exhibition can be seen...)
A
de forma permanente en el Grand Palais de París.
B
durante unos meses en París.
C
hasta finales de este año en París.
Question 5
En el vídeo se dice que... (It's said in the text that...)
A
El Greco no fue muy importante para los pintores del siglo XX.
B
los modernos no vieron a El Greco como un 'colega'.
C
lo importante de El Greco no solo es color sino también su visión de lo que es una imagen.
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Vocabulary

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Question 1
La expresión 'sin duda' significa que... (The expression 'sin duda' means...)  
A
no está del todo claro.
B
es posible que alguien tenga algunas dudas.
C
no se tiene ninguna duda.
Question 2
Algo que es 'inusual' es... (Something that is 'inusual' ...)  
A
no es nada raro.
B
es poco común.
C
es muy corriente.
Question 3
Si 'pones el foco' en algo... (If you 'pones el foco' on something...)  
A
no das importancia a eso.
B
no prestas atención a eso.
C
centras la atención en eso.
Question 4
Una figura 'alargada' es... (A figure 'alargada' is...)  
A
corta y estrecha.
B
más pequeña de lo habitual.
C
muy larga.
Question 5
La expresión 'a menudo' significa... (The expression 'a menudo' means...)  
A
'con frecuencia'.
B
'en todo momento'.
C
'casi nunca'.
Question 6
En el texto, las 'vanguardias' son unos movimientos artísticos que... (In the text, the 'vanguardias'are an artistic movements that...)  
A
tuvieron lugar a principios del siglo XX.
B
tuvieron lugar en la misma época de El Greco.
C
tuvieron lugar a comienzos del siglo XXI.
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