About This Artwork

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)
Greek, active in Spain, 1541–1614

Saint Francis Kneeling in Meditation, 1595/1600

Oil on canvas
36 3/16 x 24 1/8 in. (92 x 74 cm); painted surface: 35 1/4 x 28 3/8 in. (89.5 x 72 cm)
Inscribed lower right: Domenikos Theotocopulos (second line of text illegible)

Robert A. Waller Memorial Fund, 1935.372

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Madrid, Museo Nacional de Pintura y Escultura, Exposición de las obras de Domenico Theotocopuli, llamado El Greco, 1902, p. 27, cat. 47.

Columbus (Ohio) Gallery of Fine Arts, Spanish Paintings, Textiles, Furniture, Arms, and Pottery, 1936, no cat.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Museum of Art, Masters of Spanish Painting, 1937, no cat.

Norfolk, Va., Chrysler Museum of Art, The Genius of El Greco: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago, 1998, no cat.

Publication History

Manuel B. Cossío, El Greco, Madrid, 1908, p. 576, no. 139; rev. ed. by Natalia Cossío Jiménez, Barcelona, 1972, p. 379, no. 215.

August L. Mayer, Dominico Theotocopuli, El Greco, Munich, 1926, pp. 42 (ill.), 43, no. 267.

“Spanish Paintings, Textiles, Furniture, Arms and Pottery,” Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts Monthly Bulletin 7, 1 (1936), p. 2.

“Fifteen New Acquisitions at Chicago,” Art News 35, 1 (1936), pp. 9–10 (ill.). M[aurice] Legendre and A[lbert] Hartmann, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, Called El Greco, Paris, 1937, p. 377 (ill.).

Daniel Catton Rich, “An El Greco and a Velasquez,” Art Institute of Chicago Bulletin 31 (1937), pp. 1–3 (ill.).

“Robert B. Harshe” (obituary), Art Institute of Chicago Bulletin 33 (1938), p. 50 (ill.).

De Barnaba da Modena a Goya: Exposición de pinturas de los siglos XIV al XIX recuperadas por España, exh. cat., Madrid, Museo del Prado, 1939, p. 11.

José Camón Aznar, Dominico Greco, Madrid, 1950, vol. 1, p. 364, fig. 240, vol. 2, p. 1385, nos. 578, 580; rev. ed., 1970, vol. 1, pp. 383, 390, fig. 277, vol. 2, p. 1371, no. 584.

Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño, La pintura española afuera de España, Madrid, 1958, p. 203, no. 1391.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection, Chicago, 1961, pp. 100 (ill.), 204.

José Gudiol, “Iconography and Chronology in El Greco’s Paintings of Saint Francis,” Art Bulletin 44 (1962), p. 202.

Harold E. Wethey, El Greco and His School, Princeton, 1962, vol. 2, p. 122, no. 220; rev. Spanish ed., trans. Carlos Cid, Madrid, 1967, vol. 2, p. 135, no. 220.

Tiziana Frati, L’opera completa del reco, Milan, 1969, p. 108, no. 102b. Albert Châtelet, Cent Chefs-d’oeuvre du Musée de Lille, Lille, 1970, p. 58, under no. 21.

José Gudiol, Doménikos Thetokópoulos, El Greco, 1541–1614, Barcelona, 1971, p. 351, no. 164; English ed., trans. Kenneth Lyons, New York, 1973.

John D. Morse, Old Master Paintings in North America, New York, 1979, p. 154.

Edi Baccheschi, Il Greco: Tutti i dipinti, Milan, 1980, pp. 24, 26 (ill.), no. 21-F.

Juan J. Luna, Tesoros del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao: Pintura, 1400–1939, exh. cat., Madrid, Museo Municipal, 1989, p. 35, under no. 3.

José Álvarez Lopera, El Greco: La obra esencial, Madrid, 1993, p. 289, no. 214.

Arnaud Brejon de Lavergnée in De Veronese à Goya: Tableaux et dessins du Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, exh. cat., Tokyo, Tobu Museum of Art, 1993, p. 259, under no. 3 (ill.).

Old Master Paintings Including Pictures from the Fattorini Collection and Pictures from the Collection formed by the British Rail Pension Fund, sale cat., London, Sotheby’s, July 3, 1996, p. 230, under no. 257.

William B. Jordan in Spanish Old Master Paintings, sale cat., New York, Christie’s, January 29, 1999, p. 39, under no. 199.

José Álvarez Lopera, ed., El Greco: Identity and Transformation, exh. cat., Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1999, p. 406, under no. 54.

Richard George Mann, “Tradition and Originality in El Greco’s Work: His Synthesis of Byzantine and Renaissance Conceptions of Art,” Quidditas 23 (2002), pp. 103–10, fig. 2.

Old Master Pictures, sale cat., London, Christie’s, July 7, 2004, p. 138, under no. 76.

Cynthia Kuniej Berry, et. al, “Multiplicity, Authorship, and Chronology: An Integrated Evaluation of Four Images of Saint Francis by El Greco,” in Marika Spring, ed., Studying Old Master Paintings: Technology and Practice, The National Gallery Technical Bulletin 30th Anniversary Conference Postprints, London, 2011, pp. 125–35, figs. 1c, 3b, 6c.

Ownership History

Possibly in the artist’s possession at the time of his death, 1614 [see 1614 inventory of the artist’s estate in Francisco de Borja de San Román y Fernández, El Greco en Toledo (1910), repr., with notes by Rafael Sancho, Toledo, 1982, pp. 205–08]. Don Clemente de Velasco, Madrid, by 1902, until 1926 [recorded in the Velasco collection in 1902 exh. cat. and in Mayer 1926, p. 19, no. 114, pl. 7]. Durlacher Brothers, New York, by 1935 [letter from R. Kirk Askew, Jr., Durlacher Brothers, to Robert Harshe, November 29, 1935, Art Institute Archives]; sold to the Art Institute, 1935.




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