View of Toledo was painted by El Greco around 1600. I love the threatening clouds: The hills seem about to swallow the town or perhaps slide into the Tagus (Tajo) below. This is one of the earliest examples of a landscape painting.
- El Greco, View Of Toledo (criticism)
- This page notes "the stylized landscape departs dramatically from the exacting requirements of realistic depictions of nature, even in the romantic genre of the pastoral. Perhaps this painting with its almost psychedelic hues takes a cue from Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling, which, when it was recently restored, used similar and surprisingly vibrant colors."
- "High atop a hill of granite, surrounded by the gorge and river Tagus sits the ancient and formidable gothic Cathedral and Moorish palace, Alcazar, of Toledo, Spain. Toledo's skyline has changed little since El Greco immortalized Spain's religious centre in 1597-9....
The painting was intended to propagate the cities place among other great Spanish Cities. The painting itself is not a true topographical representation of Toledo(Wethey 64). El Greco took some liberty in his placement of the dominant structures. In reality, the belfry of the cathedral would be far to the right and beyond the paintings field of view. Furthermore, he has distorted the steepness of the alcazar's hill and the river Tagus has moved to the right of it's actual location(Brown 244). Past the ancient Roman bridge Alcantara, three mysterious buildings rest in a patch of cloud like white.