The Fortunes of War

The other El Greco, "The Marriage of the Virgin," an oil on canvas from 1612-1614, is thoroughly different. The figures have been lined up horizontally across the picture and the details obscured in smudgy brush strokes. The palette is distinct, too--a dusty array of tones that stand in contrast to the bright shades used in the older work.

For obvious reasons, the Old Masters show seems particularly appropriate this time of year. So when the garish holiday display at the nearby City and County Building beckons, consider instead a trip over to the DAM. The attraction there is more subtle, but it comes much closer than the snowmen and reindeer to expressing the real meaning of Christmas.

Old Masters Brought to Light: European Paintings from the National Museum of Art of Romania, through January 25 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 640-4433.

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