El Greco was born in Crete in 1541. He studied under artists in Venice and Rome, and eventually his mentors would end up purchasing his pieces. El Greco was intent on producing original works. He was full of new ideas and techniques he wished to try, and created a style that would forever be unique to him. He was influenced by Byzantine art, although his time in Spain also contributed significantly to his signature style. While he did work as a sculptor and architect, Greco is known for his painting style; he painted elongated figures, with bold brushstrokes, and a type of artificial look. His figures are still lifelike and realistic, but characterized enough so as to make a Greco painting obvious upon viewing. The paintings in this gallery are an exploration of his work specifically with mystics, combining his portrait style with religious symbolism and art.