Skip to main content

Museo del Greco


A Repentant St. Peter c. 1600

Domenikos Theotokópoulos or El Greco was born in Crete in 1541. He moved to Toledo in 1577 after years of apprenticeship in Venice and Rome. El Greco's paintings have raised many questions as to why his subjects are elongated. Some theorists believe this is a result of an impaired vision. Others advanced that El Greco was merely using his own painting fundamentals to create what he envisioned as natural beauty. Nonetheless, El Greco left an enduring body of works. Many of the paintings on view at the Museo del Greco belong to the later period in his career including the Apostolate series. He died in Toledo in 1614.

In the painting above, a repentant St. Peter is portrayed with tears in his eyes. St. Peter is begging for forgiveness after denying Jesus Christ three times.  The theme of repentance was common in the late 16th century. 

St. James the Greater (Zebedee)
Oil on canvas, 1608-1604

"It is only after years of struggle and deprivation that the young artist should touch color - and then only in the company of his betters." El Greco

It is best to view the paintings of El Greco up close and in person to better appreciate his mastery in color application. The green cape of St. James (Santiago of Compostela) and the capes worn by the apostles in this series are painted in brilliant hues and show El Greco's command of color.

 St. Bernardino Altarpiece, 1603

St. Bernardino Realino was a Franciscan missionary who spent much of his life preaching against vice and usury and espousing peace in his native Italy. Pope Pius II called him the second Paul.

This work is a fine example of the many paintings and altarpieces that El Greco was commissioned to do for the churches and institutions in Toledo. It is a full portrait of the saint and even shows his bare foot which peeps through the hem of his cassock. Beside it are the three archbishop mitres representing Sienna, Ferrara and Urbino which bishoprics he humbly turned down.

View of the rooftops of Toledo from the museum

The Museo del Greco is a recreation of the house of El Greco and sits on the property purchased by the Marquis de la Vega-Inclán for the purpose of establishing a museum. Don Benigno De la Vega-Inclán y Flaquer is one of the most important art patrons in Spain in the early 20th century and it was through his efforts that this museum was established and a significant collection of the works of El Greco were brought together under one roof.  The Casa Museo has a chapel with a stunning coffered ceiling decorated in the Mudejar style, a traditional Spanish courtyard, a kitchen, a garden and well preserved cellars. 

Cellars of the Museo del Greco

These cellars are what remain of the palace built on this site in the 14th century by Samuel Levi, the treasurer of King Pedro I. They were used as storerooms and had a bathing area.

"You must study the Masters but guard the original style that beats within your soul and put to the sword those who would try to steal it." El Greco

Museo del Greco
Paseo del Transito, Toledo
museodelgreco.mcu.es

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, A Nation Imagined

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, FILIPINO STRUGGLES THROUGH HISTORY Oil on canvas, 1964, (located at ManilaCity Hall) A National Cultural Treasure owned by the City of Manila
Carlos Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined is the latest art installation at the AyalaMuseum in Makati to celebrate the 100th birthday anniversary of Carlos “Botong” Francisco (1912-1969), a Philippine National Artist. Forty paintings and lithographs were culled from various private collections to form this exhibition. Of the large scale paintings on display, Maria Makiling and Fiesta, both oil on canvas, are representative of the indigenous genre which Botong loved to portray. In Maria Makiling, Botong reveals a relaxed and recumbent woman with her legs dangling in the cool waters of the stream and playing with an exotic deer by her side. Fiesta is about how the Filipino people gather to celebrate an important occasion, be that a religious feast or a wedding. The central figures are dancing the tinikling, a po…

Sonnet of Sweet Complaint - Federico Garcia Lorca

Lorca's house in the outskirts of Granada
Today I gave a travel presentation at work about Spain and I included this sonnet from one of Spain's greatest poets/playwrights, Federico Garcia Lorca. It's full of visual imagery which not only gives the reader the ability to see what he's written but it also leads the mind of the reader in search of meaning.

Sonnet of Sweet Complaint
Never let me lose the marvel
of your statue-like eyes, or the accent
the solitary rose your breath
places on my cheek at night.
I am afraid of being, on this shore,
a branchless trunk, and what I most regret
is having no flower, pulp, or clay
for the worm of my despair.
If you are my hidden treasure,
if you are my cross, my dampened pain,
if I am a dog, and you alone my master,
never let me lose what I have gained,
and adorn the branches of your river
with leaves of my estranged Autumn.

The original Spanish version below is from
http://www.poesia-inter.net/fglso107.htm

Soneto de la Dulce Queja
Teng…

Greenhills Shopping Center Revisited

Religious articles
It's been years since my last shopping trip to Greenhills Shopping Center. We were looking for some giveaways for a big meeting and Greenhills has an incalculable array of gift ideas. We started in the jewelry section and found a fresh pearl bracelet with an attractive and colorful accent stone for P95.00. We were able to bargain with the vendor since we were buying 50 pieces. She marked down the price to P70.00 for each bracelet.
Souvenirs
Greenhills is divided into sections - handbags and accessories, clothing (separate sections for men and women), jewelry, home decor, souvenirs, Filipiniana arts and crafts, shoes and knick knacks. It's especially fun to shop here in November for Christmas decorations and gifts though the crowd might be unabearable. 
Knock-offs
Many shoppers come to Greenhills to buy knock-offs. And there are gobs to choose from. Be careful though if you are bringing this to another country because Customs at your destination may fine you…