SPAIN  |  Toledo, Spain Travel Guide
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El Greco’s Toledo

El Greco's View of Toledo (circa 1608)

El Greco’s Toledo

[ Page of interest: Best of Spain ]

El Greco, which literally means "the Greek," is among Spain's most renowned artists, and certainly the most famous in Toledo. He was born in 1541 in Crete as Doménikos Theotokópoulos, but spent the most prolific years of his life in Toledo. In fact, from 1585 until his death in 1614, he lived in the medieval palace of the Marqués de Villena in Toledo, from where he continually worked under commission for the churches and monasteries of the region. Thus, El Greco's great works of art are scattered in churches and museums throughout city. Still, here are some of the more prominent places in Toledo where you can see his art.

Where to See El Greco's Art:

  • Church of Santo Domingo El Antiguo
    • Located on the Plaza de Santo Domingo

      The principal work here is The Assumption of the Virgin (1577-1579), which was El Greco's first commission in Spain. This is also where the artist lies entombed.
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  • Museo de Santa Cruz
    • Located at C/ Cervantes 3

      This is essentially a museum of archaeology, local crafts and fine arts that showcases a series of El Greco’s more interesting works.
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  • Museo Parroquia Santo Tomé
    • Located at Plaza del Conde 1

      The museum houses El Greco’s masterpiece, The Burial of the Count Orgaz. The arched canvas vividly depicts the heavens of elongated saints and eerily swirling clouds floating above earth. Of the lower half of the painting, legend has it that Saints Stephen and Augustine miraculously appeared to place the Count de Orgaz in his coffin as a sign of reverence for his generosity to the church. The young boy on the left is Jorge Manuel, El Greco’s only son, from whose pocket dangles a handkerchief dated 1578 (the year of Jorge’s birth) and which is signed by the artist.
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  • Museo y Casa de El Greco
    • Located at C/ Samuel Leví 3

      This wasn’t actually the home of El Greco, but sits close by it. This museum dedicated to the artist includes such works as The Apostle, San Bernardino, View and Plan of Toledo and The Redeemer. Many of El Greco’s other works are on display in the sacristy of the Catedral.
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    Last updated March 2, 2012
    Posted in   Spain  |  Toledo
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