El Greco's "View of Toledo" is resonant, pregnant with meaning and poetic force like a landscape and sky darkened at the advent of storm. Related to Van Gogh's "Starry Night" in its transcendence, it is unlike it in that the essential dynamic fulfillment of Van Gogh's painting is here superseded by threat and mystery. Both, however, can be termed Romantic, Expressionist paintings with charged emotional atmospheres and sinuous compositions.
Lines of river, city walls and rooftops in El Greco, twist and loop back upon themselves like the advances and reverses of life itself, working from the bottom center of the picture two-thirds of the way to the top, where a spire and bluntly rectangular building (spiritual versus earthly power?) vie for connection with the sky (it seems a city of bones, silver, faintly luminescent, more like tombs and...