Saint John the Evangelist and an Angel
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El Greco (Domenico Theotokopoulos)
Spanish, about 1600
Pen and pale brown ink and gray-brown wash on off-white paper
13 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

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With an expression of longing, Saint John the Evangelist gazes upward to heaven, gesturing with his right hand. Broad folds of drapery clothe his long body. An angel swathed in flowing drapery flies behind him, sketched freely with several pentimenti. El Greco used long, free lines to create rich patterns of form and then applied broad strokes of wash as veils. This loose sketch, one of only three accepted drawings by El Greco, is typical of his free-flowing style with its rich interplay of light and dark. He made the drawing as a preparatory sketch for a painting of the Crucifixion.