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El Greco as an Intersection of Counter‐Reformation and Byzantine picture ‐ Focused on <Penitent Mary Magdalene> of El Greco

임주인 1

1부산외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this article, we recognize the cross-cultural communication between Greece and Spain through El Greco's pictures. The Greeks of Crete kept to their culture and continued to look to the declining Byzantine Empire for spiritual and political guidance. For two centuries after the conquest,the strength of the Byzantine tradition had become the moral and spiritual sustenance of the conquered in Crete. The basic contribution of Cretan intellectuals or artists such as El Greco of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was the forging of connecting links between the Hellenism of the old Byzantine East and the rising, youthful Hellenism of the Renaissance West. In this way, Crete served as an important halfway point between East and West. The saint Mary Magdalene was symbol of Christian penitence,which represents the penitential life personified and became widespread during the Counter Reformation, when new emphasis was put on the value of prayer and repentance in the forgiveness of sin. In Spain, the Penitent Magdalene was popular and El Greco painted many versions, which at the first time, were reflected by Tiziano, on the contrary, at the time of Toledo, were recreated by his own style. Although El Greco was converted to Catholic in Spain, his faith in Greek Orthodox Church influenced on his original painting world. El Greco had never painted a picture whose subject treat with the emphasis of identification between Mary Magdalene and Mary, younger sister of Martha.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.