On the occasion of the quatercentenary of Domenikos Theotokopoulos’ death, the Benaki Museum organizes two exhibitions and an international conference. The exhibition “Friends and Patrons of El Greco in Toledo” will be presented at the museum’s main building, while the conference “El Greco from Crete, to Venice, to Rome, to Toledo” and the exhibition “Domenikos Theotokopoulos between Venice and Rome” will be hosted at the Pireos Street Annexe of the museum.

“Friends and Patrons of El Greco in Toledo”, curated by Richard Kagan (Professor, John Hopkins University, Baltimore) and Nikos Hadjinikolaou, focuses on the presentation of the intellectuals, collectors and patrons who constituted El Greco’s personal close circle in Toledo, inspiring and supporting him, throughout his creative journey. The exhibition comprises important archival material from archives in Toledo (Archivo Municipal de Toledo, Archivo Provincial de Toledo, Biblioteca de Castilla-La Mancha) and Madrid (Archivo Historico de Protocolos de Madrid), manuscripts and books from the National Library of Spain (Biblioteca Nacional de Espana), as well as four portraits of El Greco from the collections of the Museo del Prado, the Museo del Greco in Toledo as well as from a private collection in London. The exhibition is accompanied by a rich scientific publication, edited by Art Historian Nikos Hadjinikolaou (Professor Emeritus of the University of Crete).

“Domenikos Theotokopoulos between Venice and Rome” focuses on the two panels of the painter’s Italian period which are kept in Heraklion. These are The Baptism of Christ, which belongs to the Municipality of Heraklion, and the View of Mt Sinai and the Monastery of St Catherine, which was purchased by Andreas & Maria Kalokairinou Foundation in 1991. Also, the exhibition will present for the first time in Greece the El Greco’s painting A boy blowing a candle from the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples.

“Domenikos Theotokopoulos between Venice and Rome” investigates the artist’s first steps in the West, during his stay in Venice and through the early stages of his residence in Rome (1567-1574). With the help of paintings, engravings and manuscripts, visitors will be able to follow the blossoming art of the ambitious and defiant Cretan in the important artistic centres of post-Renaissance Italy.

The exhibition has been presented at the Historical Museum of Crete (21/06- 25/10/2014).

The three-day conference “El Greco from Crete, to Venice, to Rome, to Toledo” focuses on the life and oeuvre of Domenikos Theotokopoulos.