Portrait of Giulio Clovio by El Greco

Portrait of Giulio Clovio by El Greco

Giulio Clovio, a Croatian “Greek”, worked as a miniaturist artist in the library of Cardinal Allesandro Farnese. In 1570-1572, soon after his arrival in Rome, El Greco settled in the palace of Farnese, where he made friends with Giulio Clovio.

The portrait was written ca. 1570, and allows you to judge the high skill of young Domenico Theotokopuli as a portraitist. From the general dark background, the light snatches the head of an elderly artist and a book in his worn out hands. Works and worries furrowed the face of the master, silver hair gray hair. In a steadfast gaze, directed at the viewer,

wisdom is read, and irony, and boundless patience. However, the apparent external calmness of the image hides a steadfast and indomitable spirit, as in the landscape in the right upper part of the picture a lonely tree resists the storm.

In the hands of Clovio holds the Farnese Chapel, which he adorned with his famous miniatures. Now the Hours are stored in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. With a slightly detached view, the master with his right hand points to pages 59-60. The first depicts God the Father, creating the Sun and the Moon, on the second – the Holy Family.

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