El Greco of Toledo

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"This title is an informed study of El Greco's paintings of the landscape and monuments of the city of Toledo. Born in Crete, he trained as a painter of icons, moved to Venice and then abandoned Italy for Spain in 1577. His experiences in Italy, especially his contact with the paintings of the Renaissance and particularly the work of Titian, inspired his singular and innovative paintings, reactions to which have changed markedly over the centuries. This book relates how his profoundly original art challenged religious pictorial tradition in Spain, and how his attitudes to Spain and Spanish art led to the development of myths surrounding his work." "El Greco saw himself as the epitome of the artist as courtier and philosopher - very different from those local craftsmen who had created the art of medieval Toledo. Many of his masterpieces still grace the city - particularly El Espolio in the cathedral and the magnificent Burial of the Count of Orgaz in the parish church of Santo Tome. Special attention is given in this book to the highly unusual representations he painted of Toledo, especially the View of Toledo, with its precise delineations of important buildings and the surrounding landscape." "Revealed here is the artist El Greco, the visionary, the isolated individualist, proud, provocative and reflective, who was often in dispute over his fees with his Church patrons, and the first inventor in Spain of the modern work of art and of the idea of the modern artist."--Rabat de la couverture.