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Toward the last third of the 16th century, an exceptional painter came
to Spain: Domenico Theotocopulos, known to us as El Greco. Before and
after him, other painters arrived, such as Cincinato, Cambiaso,
Zuccaro, Tibaldi, etc., most of them finding patronage at the court of
Philip II -but they were all lesser artists -as would also be the
case in the 17th century. In comparison to them, El Greco is an
unrivalled and unpredictable personage. In spite of his Cretan ascent
("El Greco" means "The Greek"), he has often been claimed to be either
Venetian or Spanish, because it was within these two traditions where
he received training and carried out his work.