The Casa-Museo Del Greco is Dedicated to the Works of El Greco in Toledo:
A highlight of any visit to Toledo is seeing the famous paintings of El Greco. Domenikos Theotokópoulos (El Greco) was born in Crete and it was destiny that brought him to Toledo. This medieval city was the setting for many of El Greco’s great artworks.
El Greco in Toledo
We visited the Casa-Museo del Greco as part of our Toledo tour from Madrid. The guided tour of El Greco’s work was particularly educative. If you’re not an El Greco aficionado but want to better appreciate his works, a guided tour is recommended. As we went from room to room, our local guide shared very interesting information about El Greco’s time in Toledo and the finer points of his more famous pieces.
From Crete to Toledo
El Greco’s early artistic training in Crete was based on the rigid Byzantine techniques and rules. He broadened his horizons by going to live in Venice where he learned from the likes of Tintoretto and Titian. At the age of 29 he moved from Venice to Rome where he lived for seven years.
It was in Italy that Domenikos Theotokópoulos acquired the name “El Greco”. It was the custom in Italy at that time to identify a man by designating a country or city of origin and the nickname El Greco stuck. Although, on his paintings he always used his real name.
But Rome did not suit El Greco and he moved to Madrid and then Toledo in 1577 to paint the altarpiece in the convent of Santo Domingo el Antiguo. He liked Toledo and stayed on, painting religious portraits and altarpieces for other churches.
Casa-Museo del Greco
Located in Toledo’s Jewish Quarter, the Casa-Museo del Greco is currently the only museum in Spain which is dedicated to El Greco. Opened in 1911, it consists of two buildings: a 16th-century house with a courtyard, and an extension which dates from the early 20th century.
The Museo del Greco’s collection includes a significant spread of El Greco’s works from the 16th and 17th centuries, and shows the change in his painting styles over the years. This is particularly evident in the final years of his life when he painted very haunting images. But not only are the paintings representative of the works of El Greco in Toledo, they also reflect the culture and society in Toledo at that time.The El Greco collection began in the early years of the 20th century when the second Marquis of Vega Inclán founded the museum with a range of works by the artist from Crete. Since then the Museum’s collection has expanded through the acquisition of works by the other Mannerist and Baroque painters as well as notable pieces of decorative art from the period.
The Museum gets quite busy and by the time we finished our morning visit, there was already a large queue of people waiting to get in.
Paseo del Tránsito, s/n
45002 Toledo (Toledo)
Tel.: +34 925223665
How to Get to Toledo from Madrid:
- The Renfe (www.renfe.com) has regular services from Madrid to Toledo.
- Alternatively, you may find it easier to join a Toledo tour from Madrid.