El Greco’s “View of Toledo” is a landscape portrait that showcases the city of Toledo, where he lived and worked, in a unique way. The painting’s dominant colors are blues, black, white, and vibrant greens. The contrast between the darkness of the skies above and the vibrancy of green in the hills below adds to the painting’s overall earthy tone. This painting is one of El Greco’s most famous artworks and his only true landscape.
One of the earliest landscapes in Western art and the first in Spanish art, “View of Toledo” is notable for its emotional style, which vividly expresses the passion of Counter-Reformation Spain. The painting has a very different style compared to other landscapes, with elongated forms, distorted perspectives, and expressive brushwork. Through this painting, El Greco showcases his incredible talent in capturing the essence of nature in his own unique way.
Another notable work by El Greco is “View and Plan of Toledo,” which juxtaposes the view of Toledo with a trompe l’oeil map of the city’s streets. This painting is quite similar to the “View of Toledo” but has a different approach, showcasing the city in a more architectural way. Overall, El Greco’s “View of Toledo” is a truly remarkable artwork that perfectly showcases his talents as a painter and revolutionized landscape painting in Western art.