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SAJAH, ISSN 0258-3542, volume 26, number 3, 2011: 127-141The mystical visions of El Greco’s backturned figuresEstelle Alma MaréTshwane University of Technology, PretoriaEmail: [email protected] article is introduced with a statement about the author’s involvement with El Greco studies andher attempts to understand the manifestation of mysticism in his art. The research focusses on thevisual experience of two different kinds of beholders in El Greco’s oeuvre: the virtual backturnedfigures in paintings beholding a vision as part of the representations, and the beholders in real spaceviewing the complete paintings. The presentation in each of the seven works discussed is mediatedby an internal backturned beholder, forming a nodal figure in the composition, who views a mysticalvision as the main theme presented in the painting, while the beholder in real space views thebeholding backturned figure, his vision and the total composition.Key words: El Greco, mystical vision, backtur...