Tuesday, February 20, 2007

El Greco: Portrait of Cardinal Don Fernando Niño de Guevera

GRECO, El (b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)
Portrait of a Cardinal
c. 1600
Oil on canvas, 171 x 108 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The sitter is usually identified as Cardinal Don Fernando Niño de Guevera (1541-1609), Grand Inquisitor and, from 1601, Archbishop of Seville. The painting was executed c. 1600, when Inquisitor-General, and certainly before he became Archbishop of Seville.

Unlike the previous portrait of Cardinal Tavera, the portarit is that of a living character. There is an element of detachment and menace. There is anair of confidence and power in the sitter.

A biography of the Cardinal is at