Last week, I went outside to grab a few shots of the moon – what brought me out was the unusual blue color of the sky as dusk was setting in.
As I gazed (or reflected 😉 ) it reminded me of El Greco’s painting, View From Toledo (below), which has been in the news this week because next month marks the 400th anniversary of El Greco’s passing (article here) – (b. 1541 – d. 1614)
So when the word for the photo challenge turned out to be “reflections” – the moon pictures I took came to mind right away – because the shine of the moon is actually just reflected sunlight (or retro-reflection).
Below is a photo (with an added reflection) of the famous painting called View of Toledo (which is housed at the MET).
The artist, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, or El Greco (The Greek), had a preference for using slender and tall shapes or figures in his work, which yielded elongated compositions. Some say this was due to vision problems – like he possibly had astigmatism, but many scholars agree it was more of a style preference because…
El Greco used his art to “dramatize rather than to describe.”
In this emblematic landscape – we see the artist’s take of the city of Toledo, Spain, which was one of the largest cities in Europe during the late 1500’s. El Greco creates a unique feel as he rearranges buildings and some (to the left) appear to almost float on a cloud.
El Greco is also known for his symbols and I once heard someone call him the “hospital and church” painter, which is likely why he added so many religious themes to his work. It was because he was commissioned to make art pieces for the most reflective and contemplative of all locations — hospitals and churches — which are usually places of sobering wake-up calls!!! And both (hospitals and churches) are places that can lead to types of healing (or wait, sadly – sometimes both places also can cause damage – but I digress….)
Did you know…
some say this painting – View of Toledo – is grouped with the world’s top five “most famous skies” in paintings? It sits right up there with the beloved Starry Night.
Did you also know that the entire city of Toledo (Spain) is considered a national monument? Check out this video for more from – Rick Steves:
And lastly, did you know that the city of Toledo – here in the United States – the beautiful one in Ohio (click on the photo for more info) – well did you know that the view of this city is looking up?
Toledo, Ohio has been experiencing economical growth from solar energy – and that is something worth reflecting on – moving from rust-belt manufacturing to innovative sunlight research!!!
This is linked to the daily post weekly photo challenge, which is reflections.
22 thoughts on “Weekly photo challenge: Reflections (View of Toledo)”
Wow. I love this post because not only because you captured the moon so well (and I’ve tried with my paltry photographic skills but because your post ties everything together seamlessly. I love art and now I’m enlightened about El Greco. I certainly had no idea that View of Toledo was ranked in top five of sky paintings. A most dramatic sky.
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Barbara – well THANK YOU SO much. this really was super sweet to read **warm smile** – and honestly – it just fell together – (spooky cool how that happens at times) but thanks again – and I also try not to overdo the puns or “thematic” words – and have to stop myself while writing at times- because I have to stop from analyzing a piece too much!!
I do not want this particular blog to become an art history type of thing -(there are already dozens of great online sites for that very purpose).
for example, Tom Lubbock (2009) has a great article on View of Toledo – he shares this after talking about a Gainsborough used “distant woods of broccoli” –
“El Greco’s city is likewise a made-up world, a contained environment. The artist may not actually have set up a broccoli scene in his studio. But his image is visibly assembled from pieces, from turf sections, green sprigs, miniature walls and buildings. Even the sky is a cotton-wool fiction…”
and one more here – just in case….
I really Love these moon photos, Y! I’m still learning to capture moon 🙂
Hi Amy – and I am still learning too – and thanks so much. 🙂
Nice image and a good introduction to El Greco’s work. Also good to hear of the solar progress in Toledo, Ohio.
Here is a short poem, titled “Reflection”.
I LOVE your poem (and would like to include it here real quick) – but I was pleasantly surprised by the light-hearted take! I guess I was expecting deep and heavy – when it was practical and light (and captures the puzzling aspect…. “Explain!”) –
Also, that photo that accompanies your poem is such a nice fit – (by Cindy Knoke) – and I kept looking back at the image (and its reflection) because of the unusual spindly lines from the tree trunks. thanks for sharing the link….
And distance below
Are the same
And depth below
Bottom is top?
Top is bottom?
Copyright © 2011 Russell Boyle
I absolutely love photos of the moon and this is a wonderful take on the art. Just brilliant 😀
thanks so much Dinanne – 🙂
and I look forward to seeing any of your future shots of the moon – you know – while you are out walking the dogs…. and in this mode:
“scatter-gun-shoot-anywhere-and-hope-for-the-best kind of photographer”
Beautiful moon shot Y and an interesting take on this weeks theme
Thanks Gypsy Woman!!! 😉
What a wonderful post with beautiful photis and lots of enjoyable info, definitely my favorite kind of blog! Thanks for introducing yourself on my blog, I’m really happy to meet you, and look forward to reading more of your posts!
Hi – well thanks for saying that 🙂 and I was linked to your site from Cee’s purple challenge- and well I am heading back over to your blog right now.
Wow! An amazing post and photo’s Y and I love that painting! 😀
muchas gracias mi amiga, Sonel – 🙂
The moon is really a mirror of the sun, a promise for the new day, a reminder of the morning. Thank you for the art history! I love El Greco’s work.
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okay Vass – well said –
“promise for the new day, a reminder of the morning…”
by the modern day El Greco Vass!!! haha
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