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Revisiting El Greco’s Artistic Development

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Addressing a full lecture hall, Dr. Andreas Pittas, Executive Chairman of Medochemie Ltd. and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cyprus Institute, presented an exciting overview of the artistic development of Doménikos Theotokópoulos, widely known as El Greco.

The presentation focused on recent archival discoveries and studies of the social and family circles of El Greco, which brought to light unknown details of his life, which have contributed to a revised understanding of his art and personality. Dr. Pittas also discussed aspects of Greco’s life, personality and career as an artist between Candia (Heraklion), Venice, Rome and Toledo. Special reference to some of the most iconic works offered insights into his artistic genius and a reflection of the historical, socio-economic and cultural networks that framed his artistic production. Finally, the presentation also addressed aspects of the technique, style and materiality of the art of the great Master through the results of technical imaging and physico-chemical analysis of selected works performed at the Andreas Pittas Art Characterization Laboratories (APAC Labs) of the Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center (STARC) of The Cyprus Institute.

The advanced applications and methods used at the APAC Labs have been instrumental in enriching and enhancing the work of art historians and archaeologists. Specifically, technical and spectral imaging applications as well as digital 3D applications have allowed the in-depth study of the techniques used by artists such as Theotokópoulos. Furthermore, non-invasive and non-distractive analytical applications have allowed the identification of the materials and dyes used.

The lecture was attended by politicians and state officials, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, as well as, members of the scientific community of Cyprus.