The Art Collection At The El Greco Museum of Toledo
The museum’s collection features a significant number of paintings by El Greco from the 16th and 17th centuries, that are ¡ representative of his life and work, as well as the culture and society of Toledo at the time.
The museum features a vital set of paintings from the artist’s last period of work. Among these pivotal works are the 13 paintings that make up the Apostolate, the View and plan of Toledo, the Tears of San Pedro, which we have mentioned before, and a select group of portraits.
In the thirty-seven years that El Greco lived in Toledo, his style was profoundly transformed. He went from an Italianate style in 1577 to evolve in 1600 to a very dramatic, distinctive, and original one, systematically intensifying the artificial and unreal elements in his paintings. This new style he created is on display in the museum and it is characterized by: small heads resting on increasingly long bodies; the increasingly strong and strident light, whitening the colors of the clothes, and a shallow space with an overcrowding of figures.
In his last fifteen years, El Greco took the abstraction of his style to even new limits. His last works have an extraordinary intensity, to the point that some scholars looked for religious reasons, assigning him the role of visionary and mystic. He managed to impress his works with a strong spiritual impact, reaching the goal of religious painting: inspiring emotion and also reflection.