It is the 16th century and Domenikos Theotokopoulos El Greco faces to the intrigues of the Spanish Court. Recently arrived from Italy, the artist has decided to play his last card: Felipe II ensures you a picture. He then painted the martyrdom of St. Maurice, which will become the first Mannerist work and in spearhead of a prolific career that assigned a place in the history of art.
That, says the playwright and actor Alberto Herreros, "is an episode that goes unnoticed, but is decisive in the life and work of El Greco. Thanks to the picture of the martyrdom of St. Maurice and his meeting with Felipe II, El Greco becomes what is, first is the first great Mannerist work of his life, but also opens the maturity stage and the great Mannerist style of El Greco".
This incident is also the starting point of the work of El Greco and the Legion of Theban, where blacksmiths has a double tale of perseverance, defense of ideals and beliefs, versus power.
On the one hand is the artist who sensed that is able to draw the attention of the Court, but also the history of Mauritius, the main character of the picture of El Greco, who had to prove his loyalty to Christianity is refusing to the orders of the Roman Emperor Maximian Maximino, in the 3rd century D. C.
"The work tells two stories: that of El Greco in El Escorial trying to survive the labyrinth of the intrigues and done with the post of painter of the Court which had been left vacant;" on the other hand is the history of St. Maurice which is narrated in the box", explains the playwright. Under the joint direction of Herreros and Ignacio García, Natalia Mateo and Maite Pérez Astorga, El Greco and the Theban Legion is a historical drama set in two eras: the last years of Rome and the splendor of the Spanish Crown.
On the episode of the artist blacksmiths has: "El Greco it played was everything to a letter, it came from Italy, big patrons had their artists and the Italian market was saturated, the only sensitive court art was the Spanish, there was another one in Europe, was his last letter. "Toledo had closed all the doors and the custom of Felipe II was as a cosmic Confluence, an opportunity of one million, knew it was the last chance, was very nervous and was a difficult, tense situation, thought that if he wasn't he would have to leave Spain".
For blacksmiths, that encounter with Felipe II changed not only the artist but that constituted a break in the history of art, "until that time did not understand the noble; After that episode, as by magic, El Greco's life changes: change your personality and begins to understand the people that painted, for which could paint, was an alien, a stranger; Hence arose the great work that both amazed the Impressionists when it was discovered more than a hundred years ago".
The man I was talking about in the box provided by the Spanish monarch had also lived this crossroad. "St. Maurice was a Roman general of a legion of 7,000 men, Maximino calls him along with other legions to go to Switzerland to quell a revolt of Gauls. There the Emperor raises an ultimatum, his legion was Christian and Maximino occurs to you that to recover the splendor of Rome, which was crumbling, it was best to retrieve the cult to the Roman gods and the Emperor".
"So ordered that they arrodillasen to him as before to a God, but he may not renounce their beliefs and refuses, generating a very complex situation that has formidable dramatic dyes", adds. Brought to Mexico by the fright company, which arose in 2011 in Madrid, sunset premiered at the Festival Theatre classical Caceres last year. Here you will meet two more functions.
Article seen in: Excelsior