Separated at Birth?


Left: A detail of El Greco’s Laocoon, on view at the National Gallery of Art.
Right: El Greco’s The Repentant St. Peter, currently on view at the Phillips.

Phillips educators saw a familiar face during a field trip to the National Gallery of Art on Monday. Check out the uncanny resemblance between the title figure in the  Gallery’s Laocoön (c. 1610/1614) and the Phillips’s The Repentant St. Peter (between 1600 and 1614), both by El Greco.

It was a very timely happenstance considering the Intersections project A Conjunction of Verb opening tomorrow at the Phillips, in which Baltimore-based artist Bernhard Hildebrandt reinterprets El Greco’s work in photography and video.

Are there more St. Peter lookalikes out there?

Natalie Mann, School, Outreach, and Family Programs Coordinator

One thought on “Separated at Birth?

  1. Good question. In fact, there ARE more lookalikes out there. Actually, the resemblance is not unusual. El Greco’s figures, particularly the older males, conform to a type which he repeats. For example, the older male in Laocoön is similar to the figure of St. Peter in another El Greco work in the Gallery’s collection, the Holy Family.

    Also see his St. Jerome—similar male type, graying hair and beard, thick application of paint:

    More than most artists, El Greco’s figures tend to resemble one another.

    Thanks for coming by the Gallery and for highlighting how El Greco’s works continue to intrigue and inspire viewers 400 years after he created them!

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