Thursday, June 15, 2006

View of Toledo

El Greco’s View and Plan of Toledo (c1610-14) is interesting because it encompasses both a map and a landscape. The landscape of the city is accurate and reflects the details on the map held up by the young man. However, as the painted view does not have the burden of carrying all the topographical information it can also give an artistic impression of the city, spread out over the rocky slopes under a dramatic sky. And yet this view remains constrained by the real layout of Toledo. El Greco’s own vision of the city might be better seen in the Met’s View of Toledo (c 1597-99) where the artist alters the position of buildings (moving the cathedral to the left of the Alcázar palace) and the dark, writhing forms create an extraordinary expressionist landscape. 

 Images: Wikimedia Commons


Anonymous said...

Nice Blog, got to agree about The Wall Dymchurch and View of Toledo. Two of my favourites. I live near to the wall at Dymchurch and I'm a big fan of Nash.
If you go to Toledo you can more or less stand where the painting was made.


Anonymous said...

hello, the views of Toledo look pretty much the same today, especially as you come to the city by train, the track goes across the plain at the foot of the hill and as you look up it looks just like the El Greco views. inside the city it can be hectic with tacky tourism but from outside, very magical.