“El Greco” to Toledo.

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SPANISH TAPAS MADRID - entierro-conde-orgaz

Doménikos Theotokópoulos, better known as “El Greco”, was born in 1541 in Candía(today Heraklion), Crete Island, which then belonged to the Republic of Venice.
He was a Painter, Sculptor and Architech of the Spanish Renaissance. He was an innovating and very appreciated portraitist of the Spanish aristocracy, an ascetic Catholic Painter and a pioneer with his painting techniques. He focused on the figures and colours more than on drawings or backgrounds.

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz at “Iglesia de Santo Tomé”, Toledo

At the age of 26(1568), after becoming a Master Painter in Post Bizantine Art, he went to Venice and learnt from Venetian Mannierist Masters such as Titian(1490-1576). Two years later he went to Rome where he even opened his own workshop. After two years of struggling in Rome with the local painters and with the increasing plague, he decided to go to Madrid hoping to take part in the frescoes of the new Royal Monastery of El Escorial under the rule of Felipe II.
Why does he end up in Toledo then? Felipe II just did not like his art works...
In Toledo he finally found the perfect place to settle. It all started with the construction of the church “Santo Domingo el Antiguo” by Juan de Herrera. He was comissioned to paint the altarpiece and from that point, everything started to flow for him. The Imperial City of Toledo becomes his home until his death in 1614. Today no one can separate the figure of El Greco from the City of Toledo. They're one.

Toledo to “El Greco”.

“El Greco” as an artist was forgotten for a long time due to the preponderance of Diego de Velázquez(1599-1660) and later Francisco de Goya(1746-1828) as painting references in the following centuries.
Thanks to the The Marquis of Vega-Inclán, in the second half of the 1800's he is rediscovered by impressionist artists like Joaquín Sorolla, Paul Cézanne or Édouard Manet. He also had a great influence on Amedeo Modigliani and on the unique Pablo Picasso.
All these artists were very impressed by the fresh works of “the Greek”.
If you want to dive deeper into his work, you surely need to visit Toledo, especially in 2014.

The Spoliation by el Greco at The Sacristy of the Cathedral of Toledo
House of El Greco at Toledo

This year Toledo pays tribute to El Greco to commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of his death. At Museo de la Santa Cruz we find the exposition “Painter and Master” until Dec 9 2014 with 94 works. Also at The Sacristy of the Primate Cathedral of Toledo and at the House Museum of “El Greco” are a must if you visit Toledo.

El Greco and Modigliani
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