Along with the modern art she loved, Marion Koogler McNay bought and El Greco Head of Christ, a lonely Renaissance masterwork, possibly emulating a similar oddball El Greco in Washington D.C. ‘s Phillips Collection. At least she thought it was an El Greco, until later scholarship plastered over the luminous visage with doubt: perhaps it was just a copy or a studio work, and not by the hand of the master, after all. That is, until efforts by the museum’s director paid off: a thorough cleaning and subsequent re-examination of the the piece by The Prado’s Leticia Ruiz Gómez, the world’s top el Grecologist, pronounced the painting to be “largely by El Greco’s hand,” after making a side trip to San Antonio when she was in Texas as part of the Prado-Meadows Museum exchange last year.
The McNay has re-framed the re-framed Head of Christ, and is proudly displaying it in the exhibition An El Greco Rediscovered for an extended period.
also by Bill Davenport
- Lego My Art! - January 30th, 2016
- Archive: Painting on My Planet/The Top Ten Painters in Houston - January 1st, 2016
- Archive: Tire Iron 0: Cropduster: Hills Snyder/Chris Sauter - December 28th, 2015
- DMA Crane Flip Video - April 26th, 2015
- Helmreich New Dean of Fine Arts at TCU - April 25th, 2015