El Greco was born Domenikos Theotokopoulos in Crete. He began his career as a painter of icons for Byzantine churches. Moving to Italy and then to Spain, his work fused lessons learned from the glories of Byzantium with the ravishing color of Venetian art and the elegant artificialities of Roman mannerism. Settling in Toledo, he created a passionate outpouring of work. He painted haunting portraits of saints and scholars, biblical scenes, martyrdoms, and miracles in a highly personal, visionary style charged with emotion and drama. His work puzzled many contemporaries, but later artists, including Picasso, considered him a prophet of modernism.