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The baptism of Christ new light on early El Greco.

Last year's surprising discovery of an unknown painting by El Greco of the Baptism of Christ offers important new clues about the artist's early career in Crete and Italy, for long a subject of passionate controversy. In the first full account of the painting, Robin Cormack and Maria Vassilaki assess its significance and identify the larger work of which it once formed a part.

Two events in London in 2004 were a forceful reminder that the assessment of the work of El Greco, perhaps more than that of any other artist, has been subject to the swings of fashion. Like Botticelli, his reputation was soon eclipsed after his death and his art neglected until the nineteenth century. But his dramatic rehabilitation since then has not always been smooth, and in particular it is the evaluation of his early work that has been a roller-coaster. The consequence of the exhibition from February to May at the National Gallery and the sale of a small panel of the Baptism of Christ (Fig. 2) at Christie's on 8 December is that once more the range of the 'early work' of the artist must be reconsidered.


'El Greco' at the National Gallery was devoted, according to its curator, David Davies, to establishing 'the full scope and breadth of achievement' of the artist. (1) The Christie's Old Master sale catalogue of 8 December advertised a previously unknown painting, The Baptism of Christ 'by El Greco'. (2) Since scholarship on early El Greco is still overshadowed by the vehemence of the various different approaches to his production taken during the last fifty years of research, it may seem foolhardy today to make a firm attribution to El Greco of a painting that has no signature. But we want to argue that we have now actually reached a time when it is reasonable to track with some confidence the beginnings and development of his career before his decisive move to Spain by 1576, where he lived until his death in 1614. The newly-discovered painting of the Baptism is small and as yet uncleaned, but we want to suggest that, if we work carefully through the intricacies of Greco scholarship, we can come to a decision about its place in his artistic life. It is a powerful image in a fluid and colourful style, and the elements that point to El Greco are the delicacy of the painting of the trees and group of figures and the city in the distance along the River Jordan; the 'mannerist' elegance of the accompanying three angels; and the powerful, close encounter between St John and Christ.

Much of the modern study of El Greco might be described as oscillating between two extremes--either a sharp focus on the attribution of his works, or a discursive handling of the historiography of the artist's personality and image. Key moments for the definition of his oeuvre were the appearance in 1937 of a highly influential study by Rodolfo Pallucchini on the Modena triptych (Fig. 1), whose inclusive attitude had the effect of greatly increasing the publicly accepted works of El Greco, (3) and the exclusive and combative scepticism of the Harvard-trained art historian Harold E. Wethey, who produced a reactive catalogue raisonne with a greatly reduced corpus of materials in 1962. (4)


As Ellis Waterhouse put it in his obituary of Wethey, published in 1985, this was a 'memorable' catalogue which was the first to sort out the autograph work of El Greco from the very extensive school productions: 'This caused a great deal of commotion in the art world at the time, but his distinctions are now generally considered acceptable'. (5) What Waterhouse did not say in the obituary was that he himself was totally persuaded by Wethey's book that his own previous acceptance of the authenticity of the Modena triptych as a signed early work of El Greco, which had been argued by Pallucchini, was a strategic mistake. He henceforward totally revised his views about the nature of El Greco's early work, although not without saying in 1964 that this was an 'agonising reappraisal'. (6)

Although the dominance of Wethey's magisterial assessment of the canonical production of the artist and his assistants has teased scholarship since 1962, the significant work of the following decades was not so much in attribution as in the reappraisal of all the various interpretations of El Greco--ranging from his supposed Byzantinism to his supposed astigmatism. The latter theory has mostly disappeared into oblivion, while the former has come to be treated with greater care--though two Oxford professors are still prepared to be dismissive of that too, by writing in 2002 that 'Despite claims to the contrary, the only Byzantine element of his famous paintings was his signature in Greek lettering.' (7)

The major contributions to the balanced appraisal of El Greco's art and personality are in wide-ranging and critical discussions by Nicos Hadjinicolaou, Fernando Marias, Jose Lopera and Jonathan Brown. (8) The issues were succinctly set out by Hadjinicolaou in 1990 in an article that forms part of the catalogue of an exhibition at El Greco's birthplace in Crete, Iraklion; the context was the occasion of the 450th anniversary of his birth in 1541. (9) This article identifies and reviews the key debates: the striking discrepancies in style between his early and late works; his name in his own time (born Domenikos Theotokopoulos, known generally in Italy and Spain as Dominico Greco, and called only after his death El Greco); his 'Greekness'; his 'Spanishness'; his 'Byzantinism'; his insanity; his astigmatism; his mysticism; and his modern image. The influence of these recent critical overviews of the personality of the artist was clearly reflected in the contents of the National Gallery catalogue--it conspicuously omitted any dedicated essays directly on these subjects. Instead the issues were subsumed into a historical and contextualised treatment of his main productions.

The fact that in 2004 both the National Gallery exhibition and the Christie's catalogue accepted the existence of a set of early works by El Greco, and also that a debate can now be envisaged about how many paintings might belong before or after his emigration from Crete in 1567, demonstrates how El Greco's fortunes have once again changed. We found ourselves involved in this arena when we were asked by the municipality of Iraklion to explain the art-historical importance of their purchase of the Baptism at the Christie's sale before the panel was first publicly put on show in Crete in the church of San Marco in Iraklion on 28 January 2005. (10) The challenge to 'explain' the Baptism plunged us into the midst of the current debates.

The difference between the scholarship of Pallucchini and Wethey and the present position is the quantity of new information that has emerged about El Greco's early life. Whereas they had to rely heavily on such documents as were known from Spain (like his statement that he was sixty-five years old in 1606 in his lawsuit over his work at the Hospital de la Caridad, Illescas) and the personal information about his life that could be deduced from them, we today have a sequence of firmly recorded dates about him in the period before he emigrated from Crete to Venice. The new information comes from the notarial archives of Candia, which had been transported by ship to the state archives of Venice after the fall of the capital of Venetian-owned Crete to the Turks in 1669, and which have only recently been systematically explored. (11) It is these documents which have reduced most (but not of course all) of the speculation about his early training and experience in Candia, where he was born in 1541.

The key to a new approach to the early work of El Greco is the fact that his final departure from Crete was not until 1567, when he had reached the age of twenty-six and when he had already been recognised as a Master artist in his home town. (12) But a new appraisal is not simply derived from written documents. New paintings which have been identified as the work of El Greco are an essential element in new thinking about the artist--most notably the discovery on the island of Syros in 1983 of an early icon of the Dormition of the Virgin, complete with an artist's signature and other hallmarks of the style and iconography of El Greco (Fig. 3). This was prominently exhibited in the London exhibition, and caused a conspicuous stir among the visitors.


But to appreciate fully the extent of the present re-orientation of El Greco studies, it helps to retrace the story back to the 'canon' of works as designated by Wethey in 1962. The experience of revisiting his arguments is a sobering one. His conclusions rightly caused 'a great deal of commotion', since there was already a substantial body of literature which had reached different conclusions and whose authors, unlike Waterhouse, continued to maintain them after taking Wethey's negative views into account. A notable dissident from the new orthodoxy was Manolis Chatzidakis in Athens; by hindsight, we can see that he was closer to the truth. (13)

The pivotal painting for the early work of El Greco before Wethey's reappraisal was a small triptych in the Galleria Estense at Modena (Fig. 1). Pallucchini's publication of this work in 1937 followed his chance discovery of it in a cupboard while working on a catalogue of the collection. (14) He attributed it to El Greco on the basis of a signature on the painting on the back of the central panel (a scene of pilgrims arriving at the monastery of St Catherine's at Sinai): the inscription is XEIP [DELTA]OMHNIKOY ('Hand of Domenikos'). Since Pallucchini's researches into the known history and provenance of the Modena triptych turned up only references to its existence in north Italy, he concluded it was a work done during El Greco's period in Venice.

The instant consensus after Pallucchini's publication was that the triptych was indeed an early work of El Greco and it became the yardstick for attributions to the artist. And there were soon very many such attributions. It was this barrage of attributions, this 'myth' of the productivity of early El Greco, which Wethey energetically sought to terminate by denying that the Modena triptych had any connection at all with the artist. As Waterhouse expressed it in 1964: 'Greco has been liberated from the responsibility for painting the Modena triptych and all the consequences that that authorship entailed'. His conversion to the Wethey viewpoint led him to a yet more graphic condemnation of what had after all been his own previous ardently-held conviction: 'The results of Pallucchini's discovery have been cataclysmic. Literally hundreds of Greco-Venetian daubs have crept out of the woodwork of the Adriatic lumber rooms in the last twenty-five years, and poor Greco's earlier years have been saddled with a burden of guilt which is altogether preposterous'. (15)

What Wethey had effectively done was to eliminate any early works that had any sort of Byzantine character. Whereas J. Camon Aznar had produced a corpus of between 787 and 829 paintings by El Greco, Wethey reduced his personal total to only 285 authentic works; he covers another 465 pictures, but not one of them is accepted as a work of El Greco himself. (16) Wethey's solution to the question of the training of El Greco as an artist was radical and straightforward. It was a classic use of Occam's razor. He rejected the notion that Crete took any part in his formation; he was quite simply a young man who entered Titian's workshop in Venice, and that formed the totality of his training. (17) El Greco emerged from this as an Italian-trained mannerist painter--'a Mannerist of unprecedented mystical nature'. (18)

What remained awkward but necessary for Wethey to explain was the existence of a small number of panels, including the Modena triptych itself, which had the signature 'Hand of Domenikos'. This he handled by pronouncing that the signed Adoration of the Magi in the Benaki Museum at Athens (Fig. 4) was indeed by the same artist as the Modena triptych, an artist with the common name (for this period) of Domenikos. He applied the same logic to the other signed icon in the Benaki Museum, the representation of St Luke painting the Virgin Mary and Child (Fig. 5). This was, he decided, by yet another (but different) artist with the name of Domenikos. Wethey supported his elimination of these works from El Greco's oeuvre by considerations of style and quality and somewhat complicated arguments about the nature of the handwriting of the Greek signatures. It was not therefore a concern of Wethey's to explain the unusual nature of this group of paintings when compared with the other productions of Crete in the second half of the sixteenth century, although it is of course a question which must baffle anyone who studies the Byzantine tradition.


Since 1962 the series of discoveries has gradually convinced scholarship that Wethey's solution is unacceptable, and that his catalogue decisions distorted the whole nature of El Greco's origins, development and recurrent interests. Instead El Greco is now seen as an artist with a formative training on Crete; the relocation to Venice, Rome, and finally Toledo challenged him to change, adapt and develop his initial forms of expression.

The first new document to attract attention was published by C.D. Mertzios, and it appeared just as Waterhouse and others were writing their reviews of Wethey. (19) This document records as a witness to the sale of some property in Candia on 6 June 1566 a certain 'Maistro Menegos Theotokopoulos Sgourafos'. Menegos is the Venetian dialect form of Domenikos, and Sgourafos is a Greek term for painter. In other words there was a Domenikos Theotokopoulos in Crete at this date and he was a master painter. This document was instantly accepted in the literature as referring to El Greco, but the opportunity was there for fellow sceptics to harmonise it with the views of Wethey by suggesting that all it means is that he was living as an artist in Venice, but on this occasion took a trip back to Crete. This interpretation however soon became more and more shaky as further documents were discovered in the Venetian archives. (20) From these it now emerged that he was first recorded as a master painter in Candia in September 1563. He was last recorded in Candia at Christmas in 1566: on 26 December he sought permission from the Venetian authorities to sell a 'panel of the Passion of Christ executed on a gold background' (un quadro della Passione del Nostro Signor Giesu Christo, dorato) in a lotto (a lottery); and on 27 December it was valued by two artists, one of them the still well-known icon-painter Georgios Klontzas. One valuation was eighty ducats, the other seventy, and the agreed price seventy ducats (both were high figures for a small panel). (21) All this evidence supports the view that El Greco was trained and had made a reputation for himself while in Crete, and then left his home town for ever sometime in 1567; by the time he wrote a letter on 18 August 1568, he was living in Venice. These documents gave a new chronology for his early life and contradicted Wethey's view of a training as a painter entitely in Venice; but they did not in themselves overturn the view that the works signed by Domenikos had nothing to do with El Greco.

The decisive turning point in the scholarship of early El Greco came out of the blue in 1983, when the Dormition of the Virgin shown in the London exhibition (Fig. 3) was found at Ermoupolis on Syros by G. Mastoropoulos. (22) The signature of the artist was preserved at the bottom of the picture: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ('Domenikos Theotokopoulos the creator'). This was a distinctive form of signature which El Greco used again (in 1577) on an Assumption of the Vitgin at Toledo. The painting shows an individual (some say incongruous) mix of Cretan and Venetian traditions, such as the candelabrum in the foreground with nude female figures, perhaps based on an Italian print, and the combination of a Byzantine setting for the wake of the Vitgin with a Western Assumption scene above.

The discovery of this painting was immediately seen to vindicate the attributions of the other three signed works of 'Domenikos' to El Greco, and not to two unknown artists by the name of Domenikos, as proposed by Wethey. They too exhibited an unusual and experimental merging of the east and west, and showed a knowledge of Italian prints. As soon as these four were accepted as authentic, other works, some signed, some not, were persuasively brought into the group of early works of El Greco. For example, a panel, now in the Velimezis collection in Athens, which once also had the signature 'Hand of Domenikos Theotokopoulos', has been identified by Nano Chatzidakis as the actual Passion of Christ described in the document of Christmas 1566 (Fig. 6). (23) It is therefore notable that there are close stylistic connections between the angels in this panel and those of the newly found Baptism (Fig. 2). Equally convincing as autograph works of El Greco are the (unsigned) Mount Sinai (Historical Museum of Crete, itaklion); the (unsigned) Entombment of Christ (National Gallery of Greece, Athens, Fig. 7); the (signed) St Francis receiving the Stigmata (private collection, Fig. 8); and the (signed) St Francis receiving the Stigmata, (Istituto Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples). (24)


The present situation is that we can now confidently view a series of works which illuminate the style of early El Greco, some painted while he was still in Crete up to 1567, some from his period in Venice up to 1570, and some from his subsequent stay in Rome (the two paintings of St Francis seem to us to belong around 1570, and pose the question whether they were done in Venice or Rome). (25) It is a tribute to the continuing scholarship of Wethey himself that shortly before his death in 1984 (at the age of eighty-two) he conceded in an article the importance of the new materials. (26) He then accepted that El Greco left Crete in 1567 and that 'He probably had painted the little and much disputed triptych in the Galleria Estense at Modena before he left Crete'.

Wethey, in making this radical concession, also had to offer some correction to his earlier view of El Greco's long apprenticeship in learning Venetian methods of the handling of colour under the eye of Titian: he now comments, 'his transformation into an accomplished Venetian master in somewhat over two years is altogether mitaculous'. While this observation is flattering to El Greco, it is far from sufficient to explain the sequence of paintings we have illustrated. In particular the Modena triptych and our new Baptism are clearly closely related in many aspects of composition and technique, yet when closely compared have significant differences of style and quality.

Our new knowledge of El Greco and his early period does not mean that all Wethey's ideas are superseded. He correctly pointed to a number of recurrent features of the creative processes of El Greco throughout his life, such as his maintenance of a workshop, complicating the notion of 'hands', and his tendency to produce several versions of the same compositions. The new problem is how to distinguish works done in Crete before 1567 from those done in Venice immediately after his arrival. The Syros Dormition is crucial in this debate. Although it does not have a provenance which goes back to the sixteenth century, since the church of the Dormition in which it was found is an early-nineteenth-century building, it has been argued that it was transferred there from the Aegean island of Psara in 1824. (27) Even more debated today is the precise moment and place of painting of the Modena triptych (whether before or after 1567 and whether in Crete or Venice). (28)

Into this situation steps the new Baptism of Christ. Although at first sight it is a single panel and it is fixed onto a later wooden backing which had a hook at the top, it also has the traces of fixings on the left side. It must actually have been the right side of a triptych, just like the Baptism on the right wing of the Modena triptych. The left side of this postulated triptych has also survived, equally now mounted as a single panel--this came to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, University of Kingston, Ontario, after its purchase in 1991. (29) This Adoration of the Magi (Fig. 9) is of the same size and style as the Baptism. Neither panels, as wings of a triptych, are of course signed, but they witness to a feature of El Greco's life--the production of multiple versions of the same scenes. There is in fact a third (unsigned) triptych which has also been attributed to this period of the career of El Greco, the Ferrara triptych. (30) Annie Cloulas in her 1999 review of the exhibitions where the Modena and Ferrara triptychs were compared expressed new doubts over the quality and attribution of both the Modena and Ferrara triptychs. (31)


This is where now the evidence of the Baptism must force a new appraisal, and not a regression to Wethey's original proposals. The Baptism of Christ in comparison with the Modena version is a strikingly more powerful image with greater complexity and new choices of pigments. It shows an artist more comfortable with the absorption of Italian renaissance painting and exhibiting a receding Byzantine heritage. In other words the artist works in the style of 'Domenikos', but he is not exactly the 'Domenikos' of the Modena triptych. The Baptism instead uses the colours and style of the 'Domenikos' of the two St Francis panels of around 1567 to 1570.

The Baptism of Christ is seen by us as an unsigned work of Domenikos Theotokopoulos--the young El Greco. (32) Where the Modena triptych shows a knowledge of Italian prints, the Baptism has absorbed the ideas of Venetian colour. It marks his confidence to be in competition with Italian artists on Italian soil.

(1) David Davies, El Greco, exh. cat., National Gallery, London, 2003, p. 7. Previous to the London showing (and with a slightly different content), the exhibition was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York from 7 October 2003 to 11 January 2004. The catalogue was common to both exhibitions. Robin Cormack reviewed the exhibition in the April 2004 issue of APOLLO.

(2) Old Master Pictures, London Wednesday 8 December 2004, Christie's, London, lot 91, p. 162-64 gives the first account of the picture; press statements and oral communications gave the anecdotal circumstances. ('An elderly man in the west of Spain had responded to their ad in a Spanish newspaper, saying he had a picture that might be for sale, if Christie's would like to look at it. Paul Raison, an exped in old master paintings at Christie's, said: "He went off to hunt in a cupboard in another room, and fetch the proverbial brown envelope--and out of it came this wonderful thing. The elderly man said the Baptism of Christ had been in his family for over a century: he had no idea where it came from before that."')

(3) R. Pallucchini, II polittico del Greco della R. Gallena Estense e la formazione dell'artista, Rome, 1937 Previous to this analysis, an example of how El Greco's early career was more impressionistically handled is J.R Willumsen, La Jeunesse du peintre El Greco: Essai sur la transformation de l'artiste byzantin en peintre europeen, 2 vols., Paris, 1927.

(4) H.E. Wethey, El Greco and his School, 2 vols., Princeton, 1962; a revised edition in Spanish appeared in 1968.

(5) Ellis Waterhouse, obituary of H.E. Wethey, in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 127, no. 984, March 1985, p. 163. Wethey died on 22 September 1984.

(6) Idem., review of H.E. Wethey, El Greco and his School, in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 106, no. 734, May 1964, p. 238.

(7) C. Mango and E. Jeffreys, in Cyril Mango (ed.), The Oxford History of Byzantium, Oxford, 2002, p. 305.

(8) N. Hadjinicolaou (ed.), El Greco in Italy, Athens, 1995; F. Marias, Greco: Biographie d' un peintre extravagant, Paris, 1997; Jose Alvarez Lopera (ed.), El Greco: Identity and Transformation. Crete. Italy. Spain, Milan, 1999; Jonathan Brown, 'The Redefinition of El Greco in the Twentieth Century', in J. Brown and J. Manuel (eds.), El Greco: Italy and Spain: Studies in the History of Art, no. 13, 1984, pp. 29-32.

(9) N. Hadjinicolaou, 'Domenicos Theotocopoulos 450 Years Later', in idem (ed.), El Greco of Crete, Iraklion, 1990, pp. 56-111.

(10) The sale price was 789,250 [pounds sterling] (1.15 million [euro]).

(11) See Robin Cormack, Painting the Soul, London, 1997, especially pp. 191-203, for the art-histoncal background of Venetian Crete and for El Greco's place in this heritage, and Maria Georgopoulou, Venice's Mediterranean Colonies: Architecture and Urbanism, Cambridge, 2001, for the development of Candia as a colonial capital after its acquisition by Venice in 1211.

(12) The importance of the establishment of a chronology is highlighted in the National Gallery catalogue, which devotes pp. 32-41 to a summary schema.

(13) The publications of Manolis Chatzidakis on El Greco are conveniently republished in a collected volume of his papers written between 1940 and 1994: M.Chatzidakis, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Athens, 1995. See in particular his directed critique of Wethey in study 4 of 1971, translated into English on pp. 125-31 as 'Domenikos Theotokopoulos: Some works of his early years'.

(14) See the catalogue entry no. 4 by Maha Vassilaki in N. Hadjinicolaou (ed.), El Greco of Crete, Iraklion, 1990.

(15) Ellis Waterhouse reviewed H.E. Wethey, El Greco and his School, in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 106 no. 734, May 1964, p. 238.

(16) J. Camon Aznar, Dominico Greco, Madrid, 1950. A revised edition came out in 1970.

(17) The same radical view was reiterated by W. Arslan, 'Cronisteria del Greco Madonnero', in Commentarl, vol xv, 1964, pp. 213-31.

(18) This conclusion is highlighted in the review of Wethey by Earl Rosenthal, Art Bulletln, 45, 1963, pp. 385-8.

(19) The publication of his work on the Greek notary Michael Maras who worked in Candia between 538 and 1578 came to the notice of art historians through his article, 'Domenicos Theotocopoulos: nouveaux elements biographiques', Arte Veneta, voL 15, 1961-62, pp. 217-19. It was gleefully welcomed in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 105, no 721, April 1963, p. 164, in a letter to the editor by Pal Keleman. Mertzios found five documents he connected with El Greco, and published them in Greek periodicals.

(20) Maria Constantoudaki-Kitromilides, 'Dominicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) de Candie a Venise. Documents inedits (1566-1568)', in Thesaunsmata, vol.12, 1975, pp. 292-308; Nikolaos M.Panayotakis, 'Un nuovo documenlo del periodo cretese di Dominikos Theotokopoulos', in Nicos Hadjinicolaou (ed.), El Greco of Crete, Iraklion, 1995, pp. 133-40 with a good apparatus of previous publications (Panayotakis inclined to the view that, prior to his departure in 1567, El Greco may have travelled to Venice); Nicos Hadjinicolaou (ed.), El Greco: documents on his life and work, Rethymno, 1990.

(21) The organisation of such lotteries and the reasons for Venetian control over the ticket price is explained by N.M Panayiotakis, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 1999, especially pp. 57 66. It was possible to make more money than the agreed valuation if ticket sales were good.

(22) This panel features in the catalogues of M. Acheimastou Potamianou (ed.), Byzantium to El Greco, exh. cat, Royal Academy, London, 1987, no. 63, and of Nicos Hadjinicolaou (ed), El Greco of Crete, exh. cat. itaklion, 1990, no. 1, but in the event it was not possible to transport the piece to either of these exhibitions. It was however present for the first weeks of the National Gallery exhibition, no. 1.

(23) Nano Chatzidakis, Icons of the Velimezis Collection: Catalogue raisonne, Benaki Museum, 1997, no. 17, pp. 184-227.

(24) See D. Davies, El Greco, op. cit. nos. 10, 3, and 11 ; and Alvarez Lopera, op. cit., pp. 358-59, no. 9. However there are a number of paintings in this latter catalogue about which we prefer the sceptical opinions of Wethey.

(25) One might mention the complication canvassed by Lionello Puppi, 'II soggiorno italiano del Greco', in Studies in the History of Art, vol. 13, 1984, pp. 133-51, of a possible second stay in Venice in the 1570s.

(26) H.E. Wethey, 'El Greco in Rome and the Portrait of Vincenzo Anastagi', in ibid., pp 171-78.

(27) Notably by M. Acheimastou-Potamianou, 'Domanicos Theotocopoulos: "The Dormition of the Virgin", a Work of the Painter's Cretan Period', in N. Hadjinicolaou (ed.), El Greco of Crete: Proceedings of the International Symposium held on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the artist's birth, iraklion, Crete, 1-5 September 1990, itaklion, 1995, pp. 29 44. The suggestion that it came from Venice in 1843 seems too far-fetched.

(28) See the arguments on either side set out by Maria Vassilaki, 'Three Questions on the Modena Triptych', in ibid., pp. 119-32.

(29) We are grateful to David de Witt and Janet Brooke for information about this panel, which will be the subject of further research.

(30) This was sold in the ad market in 1992. See now the description by Maria Constantoudaki-Kitromilides in Alvarez Lopera, op. cit., no, 4, pp. 345-50.

(31) Annie Cloulas, 'El Greco. Madrid, Rome. Athens', The Burlington Magazine, vol. 141, no.1160, November 1999, pp. 706-707.

(32) For an extended description of the Baptism and related panels, see M Vassilaki and R. Cormack in Deltion tis Christianikis Archalologikis Etaireias (in memory of George Galavaris). Athens, 2005, pp. 227-240

Robin Cormack is Professor Emeritus in the History of Art at the University of London, honorary fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Leverhulme emeritus research fellow at the Courtauld and Special Professor in the History of Classical Art at the University of Nottingham.

Maria Vassilaki is an Associate Professor in Byzantine Art History at the University of Thessaly, Greece.
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