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.
Yannis Hadjinicolaou (1983), PhD 2014 Freie Universität Berlin, Habilitation, 2023 University of Hamburg, is assistant professor at the Institute of Art History, University of Bonn. His monograph “Thinking Bodies-Shaping Hands. Handeling in Art and Theory of the Late Rembrandtists” appeared in 2019 (Brill, German edition 2016). He has published five edited volumes and numerous articles on art and art theory of the early modern period, the political iconology of falconry and the theory and history of art history.
His forthcoming book is entitled "The Art of Medieval Falconry" (Reaktion: 2024).
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Image: El Greco, Variation of Michelangelo´s Giorno, c. 1570, Charcoal and black and white chalks on blue paper with blue wash at borders, 598 x 245 mm, München, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung Munich