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2007's biopic El Greco claims the painter was put on trial by the Spanish Inquisition, more specifically Grand Inquisitor Fernando Niño de Guevara, for blasphemy. The film is a heavily fictionalized version of the painter's life and doesn't necessarily claim historical accuracy. Nevertheless the tribunal (and acquittal) is the film's major plot element and since it was largely successful (in Greece and Spain), the painter's struggles with the Inquisition are sometimes quoted as fact.

This, however, is quite hard to believe. El Greco would occasionally be invited to tribunals as an interpreter for Greek speaking defendants, and the Grand Inquisitor is most probably the subject of the painter's Portrait of a Cardinal. His relationship with the Inquisition seems to have been generally amicable, and it would have been highly unlikely he could continue producing works with religious themes if he had any kind of troubles with the Catholic Church.

Is there any record of El Greco ever having troubles with the Inquisition during his time in Toledo?

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The Catholic Encyclopedia (not the most unbiased of sources) states:

He appeared before the tribunal of the Inquisition at Toledo in 1582, as interpreter for one of his compatriots who was accused of being a Moor

El Greco, by Michael Scholz-Hänsel, goes into rather more detail, saying

Between May and December 1582, El Greco served as an interpreter at nine Inquisition sessions. A 17-year old Greek servant from Athens, Micael Rizo Calcandil, had been charged with heresy, but was finally found innocent.

Scholz-Hänsel raises two other points: one that El Greco's patron Diego de Castilla was opposed to the Spanish Inquisition's approach to limpieza de sangre, and the other that El Greco's A Cardinal (probably Cardinal Fernando Niño de Guevara, the Grand Inquisitor) was provocative, in particular by showing the modern innovation of spectacles, presumably as desired by the sitter.

None of these points suggest El Greco personally had any serious issues with the Inquisition. He could have left its centre in Toledo at any time but chose to stay.

The 1966 biopic also had El Greco accused of witchcraft and heresy before the Cardinal Inquisitor.

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