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Patrons, Artists, and Saints: El Greco in the Chapel of San José in Toledo

Felix Monguilot Benzal, docent, Borghese Gallery, Rome, and Kress Interpretative Fellow (2012–2013), National Gallery of Art. In November of 1597, Doménikos Theotokópoulos (known as El Greco, 1541-1614) was commissioned to create a series of paintings for the recently built Capilla de San José (Chapel of Saint Joseph) in Toledo, Spain. Two of these paintings, Saint Martin and the Beggar (1597/1599) and Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes (1597/1599), were later given to the newly created National Gallery of Art by Joseph E. Widener in August 1942, before its doors opened to the public. In this lecture recorded on March 24, 2014, as part of the Gallery’s Works in Progress lecture series, Felix Monguilot Benzal discusses the history of the Chapel of Saint Joseph and the full provenance of the Gallery’s two El Greco paintings.