In March we told you about the conservation of one of our portrait miniatures and its loan to an exhibition commemmorating the 400th anniversary of the death of its probable artist, El Greco. Last month the exhibition closed (on Bloomsday) and I went to Toledo bring the portrait back. I headed to the Philadelphia airport while the Ulysses readings were still in progress on Delancey Place, landed in Madrid the next morning, and took a shuttle bus to the station to catch a train for Toledo. Suddenly for a moment I was back in Dublin as the bus went past the James Joyce Irish Pub. I didn't have time to get a photo, but here's one from their web site:
main portion of the exhibition was held here at the Museo Santa Cruz.
Most of the exhibition had been deinstalled by the time I arrived,
but our lady was still in her case.
Although the exhibition was over, there were still a lot of El Grecos on view elsewhere in the city. I managed to see a number of them, and discovered other familiar faces as well. Since Toledo is the capital of Castilla-La Mancha, I wasn't surprised to find this ingenious gentleman at the entrance to my hotel.
He also presided with Sancho Panza outside the hotel gift shop
and in the surrounding streets in front of shops like this one.
|Like him? He's for sale.|
His creator has a striking and very accessible monument near the Museo Santa Cruz.
All over Toledo you see the interlaced geometric patterns of the style known as mudéjar, influenced by Arabic designs brought by the Moors and developed during the more than seven centuries they lived there. They're in objects large and small; in wood,
|Ceiling of the Synagogue of El Transito|
|Ceiling of the train station|
|Central dome of the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz|
|Frieze in the train station|
|Tiles at the Conference Centre El Miradero|
|Toledo is famous for its steel, both swords and this ornamental work in blackened steel inlaid with gold and silver.|
And, finally, for my fellow Ohioans, here's the sign for a street where I enjoyed a frozen yogurt one evening: