Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Artworks I'd Steal: El Greco

I love El Greco's paintings for the bold colours and the instantly recognisable figures. If you have seen one painting by him, you will absolutely recognise his style the next time you see another.
Source. Wikipedia
The View Of Toledo is exceptional for a number of reasons, for example was painting landscapes devoid of persons very unusual durnig El Greco's time. But all art history aside, I love it for its eerie mood. For me, it seems to be only moments before a thunderstorm: quiet, filled with a strange light and it's like nature is holding its breath - all of which El Greco captures in this image. The deserted landscape gives the city a menacing air, aided by the contrast between the rounded hills and the sharp edges of the buildings.
For a more in depth analysis, you can read an excellent essay on the paintnig here

El Greco was unusual for his time and some of his paitings look very modern, not at all similar to what his contemoraries were painting. Look at the Version of St. John:
Source: Wikipedia
The painting has been drastically trimmed, which changed the composition, but I'm sure that even in its original state it would be equally striking. I'm always reminded of van Gogh when I see it.

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