GRECO, El St Louis, King of France, with a Page 1592-95
Oil on canvas, 120 x 96 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The painting obviously represents a king, since all the royal attributes are present - crown, sceptre with fleur-de-lys, and 'main de justice'; he wears modern armour, except for the fact that the forearms are bare. The column, no doubt, symbolizes the might of the warrior.
Various identifications of the principal figure have been made.
An X-ray photograph made in the Louvre laboratories shows that the head of the page was at first painted more realistically, and subsequently idealized; the eyes were originally shown wide open, then El Greco lowered the eyelids to make the boy more subsidiary to the main figure.
The predominantly glaucous tone of the picture and the curiously melancholic expression of the warrior king contribute to the quality of strangeness in this work. - Web Galllery of Art