About this artwork
This painting is a small replica of an altarpiece for the private family chapel of San José in Toledo, Spain. The production of smaller versions of commissioned altarpieces allowed El Greco to introduce his creations to a wide market. The composition here includes elements that would have resonated with his audience: Saint Martin wears fashionable contemporary armor, and the walls of Toledo are visible in the distant background. Martin was a popular saint during the period, when acts of charity like the gift of his cloak to a beggar were promoted by the Catholic Church as necessary for earning salvation.
- Domenico Theotokópoulos, called El Greco
- Saint Martin and the Beggar
- Oil on canvas
- Inscribed, lower right: Domenikos Theotokopoulos Kres epoiei [transliterated]
- 110 × 63 cm (43 5/16 × 24 13/16 in. ); original painted surface: 107.5 × 58 cm (42 5/16 × 22 7/8 in.)
- Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey McCormick