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“El Greco’s Synagonism: Art Theory and Practice“

University of Bonn

Mon, 2/12 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 103 Scheide Caldwell

Yannis Hadjinicolaou

Apparently, as suggested in the account of Francisco Pacheco, or in his own notes on Vitruvius and Vasari, Domenikos Theotokopoulos took a clear position in the paragone debate. But this position becomes more complex, even contradictory if one takes a look at El Greco´s own artistic production. The medium in question is often situated from the vantage point of the other (for instance sculpture from painting or painting from sculpture), thus high-lighting issues of two dimensionality and three dimensionality. Through a veritable synagonism, meaning a productive “agon” of the media, they mutually enhance each other. This fruitful dialectic also clarifies El Greco´s theory and practice. In my talk I will look at concrete examples from his oeuvre including drawing, painting, and sculpture as well as his retablos, his works as an architect. They may lead to a re-reading of his comments on art theory reframing the problem of paragone.

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