Painting : The View Of Toledo By El Greco

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View of Toledo is an artwork by El Greco dated to 1599-1600. The painting’s present location is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a large oil painting 47 3/4 x 42 3/4 in. El Greco depicts landscape of the city Toledo, where he lived for a long period of his life. The artist faithfully depicted real architecture of Toledo, however he rearranged some buildings, e. g. moving cathedral next to the royal palace. The View of Toledo wasn’t meant to be an accurate geographical description, but emblematic view of the city. Though the artwork can be classified as genre painting, the artist could transform steady terrain view into organic landscape. By using carefully organized composition and lively brushstrokes, El Greco masterly conveyed the…show more content…
The figures are very tiny and barely noticeable. The landscape and the city predominate the composition.

The artist uses a dark palette: deep blue for the sky, darker green for the trees, grey for the buildings. Buildings and clouds are touched with highlights. The elements of the landscape are separated by intense shadows. Riverbanks, curves between the hills, contours of the architecture have black outline. Overall somber tone adds depth to the scene and the intensity of the color makes the composition more expressive.

Viewer can easily spot the artist’s hand. Defined texture of some areas of the painting gives an idea about how El Greco was “molding” the View of Toledo. The trees at the bottom and the sky are painted with long flowing brushstrokes, hills on the left side have fluid-like surface, hills on the horizon are done with short and sharp brushstrokes. We can follow the artist’s brush and create painting together with him. This visible movement of artist’s hand introduces dynamism to the entire composition. Together intensity of the color and readable artist’s hand turn ordinary view into energetic landscape.

The painting can be divided into two parts: land at the bottom and sky on top. Noticeably, sky takes almost a half of the painting. It suggests importance of this element for the entire composition. Indeed El Greco’s depiction of a heaven is very
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