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El Greco in Toledo

This year is being celebrated the fourth centenary of the death of the painter Doménikos Theotokópoulos, El Greco, in Toledo.
El Greco was born in the island of Crete in 1541, where he lived until he was 26. Then he stayed for ten years in Italy where he came into contact with the Renaissance painting and then, from 1577, he established in Toledo where he worked and lived until his death.
The geography of Toledo (which reminds us the labyrinthine madinahs –old cities- of the Arabic world) and its Semitic spirit, where a Christianity of Eastern influence (Mozarabs), Muslims and Jewish had always coexisted, perfectly attuned to the painter’s taste and needs, and in this city he developed his personal style.
“The genius of Theotocópouli, which was frustrated anywhere in Europe, even in El Escorial, found in Toledo the historic, human and mystic atmosphere that made him one of the greatest.” (Gregorio Marañón)
Many years later, in 1912, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke also found in Toledo (where he travelled led by El Greco’s painting) his dreamt paradise: “All my trips, over many years, were nothing but the promise of this one […] all those places were but mirrors of my desire to see Toledo”.

During the year 2014 the city of Toledo (UNESCO World Heritage City) is celebrating the anniversary of the painter with diverse activities and exhibitions.

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