Exposition : Greco. The Greek of Toledo, El Greco Venues and Museo de Santa Cruz, from March 14th to June 14th.

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The commemoration of the 4th Centenary of the death of El Greco will be a landmark for the history of both the painter and the town of Toledo; the gathering of works by the artist programmed for 2014 will get together most of his artistic production, coming from all parts of the world. There will be three big exhibitions showing works by the artist, which are the centre of the wide programme of El Greco Year, set mainly in Toledo. 

Source : http://www.elgreco2014.com/#!centenary/c7oa

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 will be held in the city that best reflects his career and influence. The exhibition will be 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 will contrast with others devoted to the artist to date, going beyond the habitual approaches. On this occasion we will come 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 will present 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 will commence 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 will place 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 will be 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. 

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 take part of the exhibition The Greek of Toledo.

Exhibitions :

The Library of El Greco > March 31st – June 29th

In this exhibition, the Museo del Prado will show books once possessed by El Greco. Some of them have handwritten annotations made by the painter. 

Between heaven and earth. Twelve glances at El Greco, four hundred years later. > Valladolid, April 29th – July 27th / Madrid, September 10th-November 8th

This exhibition will show the influence of El Greco in Contemporary Art. It will be held in the National Museum of Sculpture (Valladolid) and in the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, in Madrid.

El Greco and Modern Painting > June 24th – October 5th

This magnificent exhibition, organized by the Museo del Prado, will feature a selection of twenty five works by the Cretan master which will be shown in relation to approximately seventy five paintings and drawings by modern artists.

El Greco: Art and Crafts > September 8th – December 9th

The last exhibition of the Centenary will gather dozens of works created in El Greco´s workshop in Toledo.


Marie Piccoli-Wentzo

Marie Piccoli-Wentzo est doctorante en histoire de l'art moderne à l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Ses recherches portent sur l'image du désert dans l'art italien de la fin de l'époque médiévale et du début des temps modernes (XIVe-XVIe siècle).

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