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Maré El Greco’s representation of mystical ecstasyEstelle Alma Maré, Research Fellow, Department of Architecture, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria.Estelle Alma MaréEL GRECO’S REPRESENTATION OF MYSTICAL ECSTASYABSTRACTThis article deals with one of El Greco’s most original inventions, namely the gesture expressing mystical ecstasy in angelic and human figures. It is introduced with a brief explanation of figural representation in Renaissance painting which was achieved by applying the premises of rhetoric in a visual way, that is by the means of the expressive gestures of figures. In El Greco’s later paintings, which were influenced by Neo­Platonic spiritual ideals, not only the figures of the angels — who are links between heaven and earth — embody spiritual ecstasy, but also human aspirants are portrayed as losing themselves in an ecstatic experience. These figures, merging themselves in a divine vision, are depicted with distinctive vertical forms, gesturing heavenwards in ...