El Greco (1541–1614)
Vincenzo Anastagi, ca. 1575
Oil on canvas
74 x 49 7/8 in. (188 x 126.7 cm)
Purchased in 1913
Vincenzo Anastagi (ca. 1531–1586), a Knight of Malta, helped lead the heroic defense of the island during the Turkish siege of 1565. In 1575, he was named Sergeant Major of Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, and El Greco’s portrait probably commemorates this event. An incredibly ambitious painting for a young artist trying to establish himself at the papal court, this is the only full-length, standing portrait by El Greco and one of the few surviving works from his Italian sojourn.