Map of Toledo

7:00 AM

El Greco Map of Toledo, 1570 

So as we closed out our class of Renaissance Art History this year, we finished with the Counter- Reformation. In this chapter El Greco illustrates for us a prime example of this period and new inventive ideas with painting. Viewers see his growth in his specific style of elongated and heavily outlined objects or bodies from The Miracle of Christ Healing the Blind  to his Assumption of the Virgin. We studies his works in class, and going through slides everyone knew what was El Greco without hesitation. There is only one painter who could make scenes this dark and cluttered, and use the technique of shadowing and outlining to create space and guide the eye through the paintings scene.

I was privileged enough to have learned about El Greco previous to the Counter-Reformation chapter, and that is something I canot say about many other artists because like many others, I'm learning as I go. Nonetheless, earlier this year for a post about pretty much whatever we wanted (which I'm not always a fan of because my brain get too cluttered) I was stumped and came across this GIANT poster of Laocoon and his sons on the trusty walls of Mr. Luce's classroom. It wasn't like the Giotto's or Martini's I was learning about then, and getting to work with the piece made me look forward to a year or less crucifixions and more myths or stories.

This Map of Toledo surprised me. I had seen View of Toledo, and I really enjoyed it, but seeing this perspective with the man holding the map and looking out over the town is too cool. El Greco's dark sky hovering over the large city ready to be taken on by this fellow just knocks my socks off. The killer perspective and background use with the detail of the city screams El Greco, as do the the bodies and shadows. I guess this particular piece itself didn't give me a new revelation about art, but El Greco did, and that's pretty cool. That from the beginning of this journey to the last chapter, I can still admire his individualistic style and now with a better eye I can truly marvel at his technique.
Editor's Note: The students were assigned to write about the artwork that has impacted them the most. These pieces will run for  about two weeks.

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