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lower left in cursive Greek: [Do] ménik [os Theotokopoulos]; formerly, unidentified inventory number at lower right: 387


Possibly (Baron Isidoro Taylor collection sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 24-26 February 1880, no. 22).[1] Louis Manzi, Paris, by 1908.[2] In the private collection of Josse and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune, Paris art dealers, by 1919;[3] sold 19 June 1929 to (M. Knoedler & Co., New York);[4] purchased 28 March 1930 by Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.;[5] deeded 28 December 1934 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History

Exposition d'art ancien espagnol, Hôtel Jean Charpentier, Paris, 1925, no. 48.
A Loan Exhibition of Sixteen Masterpieces, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1930, 29, no. 13.
Paintings and Sculpture Owned in Washington, Phillips Memorial Gallery, Washington, 1937, no. 14.
El Greco in the National Gallery of Art and Washington-Area Collections: A 400th Anniversary Celebration, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2014-2015, no catalogue.

Technical Summary

The original support is a single piece of fine, plain-weave fabric. Before 1937 the original tacking edges were flattened out, and the picture was lined to a larger, slightly coarser fabric. Above the gypsum ground is a reddish brown imprimatura that was left exposed in places, particularly along the outlines of the figures. Most of the surface is covered evenly by a moderately thick paste of oil paint, applied primarily with short, choppy strokes. Analysis of several cross sections by the NGA science and painting conservation departments indicates that the palette is virtually the same as that used for the large-scale version of Saint Martin and the Beggar (1942.9.25), but the layering of colors is considerably simpler. X-radiographs did not reveal any pentimenti. The painting was cleaned and conserved between 1987 and 1988. A period frame hides the non-original extensions.[1]

[1] The Technical Notes are based on Susanna Pauli, "Two Paintings by El Greco: Saint Martin and the Beggar Analysis and Comparison" (forthcoming publication, conservation department papers, National Gallery of Art). I thank Ms. Pauli for providing me with a typescript of this article and for allowing me to discuss some of her findings here.


Lafond, Paul. "Domenikos Theotokopuli dit Le Greco." Les arts 58 (October, 1906): 20-22, repro. 6.
Lafond, Paul. "La Chapelle San José de Tolèdo et ses peintures du Greco." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 36 (1906): 387, repro.
Cossío, Manuel B. El Greco. Madrid, 1908: 330, 600, no. 309, pl. 47 (also rev. ed., ed. Natalia Cossío Jíménez. Barcelona, 1972: 192, 386, no. 287).
Calvert, Albert F., and C. Gasquoine Hartley. El Greco. London, 1909: 124.
Mayer, August L. El Greco. Munich, 1911: 53.
Fénéon, Félix, ed. L'art moderne et quelques aspects de l'art d'autrefois d'après de MM. J. et G. Barnheim-Jeune. 2 vols. Paris, 1919: 1:61-64, pl. 68.
Boyer, Raymond. "La saison des `retrospectives.'" La Revue de l'Art 48 (1925): 229.
Dayot, Armand. "Une exposition d'art ancien espagnol." L'art et les artistes 19 (1925): 296.
Mayer, August L. Dominico Theotocopuli, El Greco. Munich, 1926: 48, no. 299.
Villar, Emilio H. del. El Greco en España. Madrid, 1928: 103.
Mayer, August L. "St. Martin and the Beggar by El Greco." Apollo 10 (1929): 151, color repro.
Bull, Henry Adsit. "Notes of the Month." International Studio 95 (1930): 58, repro.
Rutter, Frank. El Greco. New York, 1930: 62, 98, no. 80, pl. 70.
Mayer, August L. El Greco. Berlin, 1931: 107, fig. 105.
Busuioceanu, Al. "Les tableaux du Greco dans la collection royale de Roumanie." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 76 (1934): 298, repro. 294.
Cortissoz, Royal. An Introduction to the Mellon Collection. Boston, 1937: 42.
Legendre, Maurice, and Alfred Hartmann. Domenikos Theotokopoulos, Called El Greco. Paris, 1937: 463, repro.
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 92, no. 84, as by El Greco.
Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 240, repro. 216, as by El Greco.
Cook 1945, 70-72, fig. 3.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): xii, repro. 43.
Camón Aznar, José. Dominico Greco. 2 vols. Madrid, 1950: 2:702-704, 1383, no. 528, fig. 538 (also 1970 rev. ed., 2:712, 714, 1367, no. 528, fig. 594).
Soehner, Halldor. "Ein Hauptwerk Grecos: die Kapelle San José in Toledo." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 9 (1957): 215, n. 88.
Gaya Nuño, Juan Anotonio. La pintura española fuera de España; historia y catàlogo. Madrid, 1958: 205, no. 1407.
Evans, Grose. Spanish Painting in the National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1960 (Booklet Number Ten in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.): 42, color repro. on cover, as by El Greco.
Soehner, Halldor. Una obra maestra de El Greco: la Capilla de San José de Toledo. Translated. Madrid, 1961: 40, n. 88.
Wethey, Harold E. El Greco and His School. 2 vols. Princeton, 1962: 1:fig. 119; 2: 247, no. X-401 (also Spanish ed., Madrid, 1967: 2:262, no. X-401, pl. 103).
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 309, repro., as by El Greco.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 62, as by El Greco.
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 54, repro., as by El Greco.
Manzini, Gianna, and Tiziana Frati. L'opera completa del Greco. Milan, 1969: no. 105c-1.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 162, repro., as by El Greco.
Pérez Sánchez, Alonso E. "On the Reconstruction of El Greco's Dispersed Altarpieces." In El Greco of Toledo. Exh. cat. Museums in Ohio, Madrid, Washington, and Dallas. Boston, 1982-1983: 168.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 237, no. 304, color by El Greco.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 186, repro.
Brown, Jonathan, and Richard G. Mann. Spanish Paintings of the Fifteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1990: 78-83, repro. 79.
Griswold, Susanna P. "Two Paintings by El Greco: Saint Martin and the Beggar." Studies in the History of Art 41 (1993): 133, 136, 140, 142-148, repro. no. 2.

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