BRUSSELS.- Regarded today as one of the founders of the Spanish School of painting, El Greco has not, however, always enjoyed that lofty status. At the time of his death in Toledo in 1614, Europe was wildly enthusiastic about the then fashionable naturalism of the Caravaggesque style, poles apart from his own brilliant Mannerism. El Grecos work soon went out of fashion and remained relatively neglected down the centuries until 1908, when the art historian Manuel Bartolomé Cossío devoted a key monograph to him.
The El Greco craze took off immediately. In 1910 a discerning art collector, the Marqués de la Vega-Inclán, even established a museum in his honor in Toledo. The painters fame, accordingly, flourished anew, as rapidly as it had been extinguished. In addition to outlining the key role played by those responsible for this spectacular rediscovery, the exhibition presents a fascinating overview of the painters artistic development via a unique selection of outstanding works, including the stunning "The Disrobing of Christ" and the striking "St. Peter in Tears", The highlight of the exhibition is El Grecos final series of "Apostles", his artistic testament: a complete, astonishingly modern series, remarkable for its totally free forms and its extraordinarily bright colors. After this visit to the Center for Fine Arts the series will return to the Museo de El Greco in Toledo, which it will never leave again.