Christ Blessing ('The Saviour of the World') by El Greco postcard


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15.3 x 10.2 cm, image size 11.8 x 8.9 cm postcard of Christ Blessing ('The Saviour of the World') by El Greco.

The half-length figure of Christ looking directly out at us with his right hand raised in blessing is a traditional form of composition. Although a late work, this canvas recalls the Byzantine icon painting of El Greco's youth. The artist includes a crystal-like sphere or globe representing the world; more usually such pictures include a book of scripture.

His fluid brushwork and extensive use of white admirably convey the idea of divine light. The painting may have formed part of a series, popular in Spain, depicting Christ and the twelve Apostles.

Domenikos Theotokopoulos was born in Crete and became known as El Greco ('the Greek') in Spain where he established his reputation as a painter with an original and distinctive style. In Crete he had trained in the Byzantine tradition of icon painting.