View of Toledo

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) Greek

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 619

Writing to the sculptor Auguste Rodin after having been astonished by this painting in Paris in 1908, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke described how “splintered light tills the ground, turning it over, tearing into it and bringing up here and there pale green meadows behind the trees standing like insomniacs.” Regarded as El Greco’s greatest landscape, it portrays Toledo, the city where he lived and worked for most of his life. But it is an emotive rather than a documentary vision that not only imaginatively revises the skyline—most notably, the cathedral has been moved—but also distorts architecture and landscape such that they are fully in service of the kind of drama Rilke and other modernists appreciated in his work.

#5152. View of Toledo



  1. 5152. View of Toledo
  2. 125. The Director's Tour, Second Floor: View of Toledo, Part 1
  3. 5874. The Director's Tour, Second Floor: View of Toledo, Part 2
View of Toledo, El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (Greek, Iráklion (Candia) 1541–1614 Toledo), Oil on canvas

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