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Exhibition

THE GREEK OF TOLEDO

Over a hundred works by El Greco gathered in the largest exhibition of the artist ever held.

 

More de 60 arrived from 29 different cities of the world.

Site: El Greco Venues and Museo de Santa Cruz

Date: from March 14th to June 14th



Curator: Fernando Marías

Coordinator: Casilda​ Ybarra

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The link between El Greco (Candia, Crete, 1541-Toledo, 1614) and the City of Toledo is an historical fact and, yet, no exhibition devoted to this painter has ever taken place in Toledo.

 

For this reason, in order to mark the 400th Anniversary of the artist's death on 7th April 1614, this exhibition was held in the city that best reflects his career and influence.

 

 

The exhibition was staged at the Museum of Santa Cruz, extending to different spaces throughout Toledo known as El Greco Venues, thus providing an in-depth insight into the different places where El Greco carried out his work: the Vestry of Toledo Cathedral, The Chapel of San José, the Convent of Santo Domingo el Antiguo, the Church of Santo Tomé and the Tavera Hospital.

 

These venues preserve their original paintings, thus endowing this exhibition with its unique flavour, one that simply cannot be repeated outside Toledo.

 

 

The exhibition contrasted with others devoted to the artist to date, going beyond the habitual approaches. On this occasion we came across a more complex character, one who is more closely embedded in the original artistic, work-related and intellectual context of the "Greek of Toledo", as he was known in his time.

 

 

In this respect, the exhibition presented the Cretan painter within his Toledan setting and milieu, as a leading figure in an artistic and cultural scene of trans-national and plural character, always seeking to explain his work within the context of the activities pursued by the artists who worked for Philip II and Philip III in Toledo or in Madrid.

 

 

The exhibition commenced with El Greco's activities before he arrived in Spain, in Candia and Venice and Rome, based on an analysis of his early training as a master painter in Crete and his gradual appropriation of Italian styles, influenced by Titian, Tintoretto, Giorgio Giulio Clovio, Michelangelo and other Italian painters.

 

 

A portrait painter

 

The exhibition placed a strong emphasis on his work as a portrait painter, the only genre in which he obtained fame and recognition from his contemporaries, even in spite of the contrasts between his work and the typical portraits that were produced in the Spain of Philip II.

 

 

El Greco was presented as a painter of devotional images in Spain, linking this up with his commercial strategies and his tendency to produce serial replicas of his compositions, based on the final distribution of these works in the form of prints. In fact, prints constituted a medium that enabled him to both increase the number of paintings he could offer and diversify his range of clients.

 

 

Furthermore, it was in Spain where he would develop his taste for theatrical settings, evolving as an artist from a painter to an inventor and creator of complex and pluri-disciplinary alter-pieces, works in which he designed the architecture and the sculptures as well. 

No exhibition devoted to El Greco had ever taken 
place in Toledo

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The works

This exhibition will take place in el Greco Venues and the Museo of Santa Cruz,

that will show dozens of works arrived from many different places all the world.

 

These are the works that will be part

of the exhibition The Greek of Toledo:

Chapel of San José:

 

Cathedral of Toledo:

 

Hospital Tavera:

 

Convent of  Santo Domingo el Antiguo:

 

Church of Santo Tomé:

 

Museo de Santa Cruz: