El Greco, or Doménikos Theotokópoulos, was born to Greek parents on the island of Crete. He is considered by many art historians to be the last great Mannerist painter. El Greco, or “The Greek,” left Crete for Venice, Italy, in his mid-twenties. Following the Venetian Renaissance tradition, he began to elongate his figures, a style that would come to be associated with his most famous works. But like all artists of the time, El Greco needed a patron to support him. The Italian cities were rampant with artists and the competition was fierce. Finally, El Greco tried his luck in Spain. Originally lured to that nation to complete a commission for the Toledo Cathedral, he never left. In Spain, El Greco found fame. His preferred subjects were people, whether his contemporaries or characters from the bible. In his 40 years in Spain, the church was the source of the majority of his commissions and much of his work can be found in cathedrals there. Only two landscapes painted by him survive to this day. Extremely litigious, El Greco often found himself on the losing side of the battle. One battle he did not lose, however, was his place in history. Velázquez, Picasso, van Gogh, Delaunay, and Cézanne all cited El Greco as being hugely influential in the development of their artistic styles.