El Greco - View of Toledo

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View of Toledo
El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos, Greece, 1541 - 1614)
oil on canvas, 121.3 cm × 108.6 cm (47.8 in × 42.8 in)
Metropolitan Museum, New York

The art of Domenikos Theotokopoulos, El Greco, one of the most original painters of any era, has been ascribed either to mannerism or to baroque, and the painter himself has been catalogued as a Greek, Spanish or even Italian artist. Actually, he is an unique artist, who speaks his own pictorial language, a talent that was only understood after the advent of twentieth century avant-garde.

Although known primarily for his religious scenes ("The Spoliation", "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz"), El Greco was a quite versatile artist who also created unforgettable portraits ("The Knight with his hand on his breast"), mythological scenes ("The Laocoon") and paintings that are really difficult to classify ("Fable"). And in addition to all these works, he also painted one of the best landscape paintings ever created, the "View of Toledo" exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

This is one of the two views of the city of Toledo painted by the artist (the other, "View and Map of Toledo” at the Museum of El Greco, does not include a natural landscape). The city is painted from a very distant point of view, and it does not occupy the center of the painting, but has been shifted to the right. This allows the artist to focus on the representation of the natural landscape around the Tagus (Tajo) River. The green of the vegetation dominates the bottom of the painting, creating a sharp contrast with the dark blue sky on the top.

By darkening the color of the clouds in the areas closest to the city, El Greco highlights the impressive architecture of Toledo, depicted in this painting with a spooky atmosphere that relates it to the expressionist works of George Grosz or Ludwig Meidner

G. Fernández -

El Greco - View of Toledo - detail

Detail of the painting

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