In 1914 the 3rd centenary of the death of El Greco served to bring to a close the re-evaluation period of his figure: a period of rupture with the rigid ideas and narrow academicism predominating in institutions, and of assessment of paintings that had been scattered and forgotten in churches and convents of Toledo up then.
The vindication of El Greco's work had begun with the arrival of the first Romanticist travelers to Toledo in the 19th century.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the gradually dissemination of El Greco's image as a precursor of pictorial vanguard trends attracted the attention of a number of intellectuals that provided his work with the critical reflection basis to define him as one of the most brilliant artists in the history of painting. A difficult task led by eminent personalities such as Santiago Rusiñol, Ignacio Zuloaga, Manuel Bartolomé Cossío, Giner de los Ríos, Pío Baroja, Azorín, Miguel de Unamuno, Mauricio Barrés, Rilke and Benigno de la Vega Inclán. Inclán was a little known figure that was prominent in the promotion of modern tourism in Spain and in creating a new form of enjoying of its heritage. At His position as Royal Commissioner of Tourism, De la Vega Inclán was responsible for planning a coherent model for presenting the city of Toledo to visitors. To do so, he created a variety of museums, services and infrastructure transformed it into an international tourism destination. Thanks to his know-how and foresight, the emblematic building of the Synagogue de Tránsito was restored and the Museum del Greco —since 1910, a must-do visit for all those interested in the Spanish art and culture, was established.
The inauguration of the Museum confirmed the increasing appreciation of El Greco as a genius of painting and posed new challenges that were expected to be addressed on the occasion of the celebration events of the 3rd Centenary of his death. Its purpose was twofold: on one hand, to offer a new interpretation of the painter now considered a genuine representative of the Siglo de Oro pictorial art and, on the other, to address the necessary modernization of Toledo in a dialogue between past and future that produced interesting results.
Even though the entity of the 3rd Centenary celebration events fell short of expectations because of the complex political situation Spain was living at that time and the problems among the different committees and boards in charge of their realization, the global result could not have been more positive. Their efforts, one another's, permitted to the opening of monuments, the organization of concerts and conferences but, above all, to achieve the universal recognition intended and definitive consolidation of Toledo as a cultural tourism destination. The artistic value of El Greco ceased to be a controversial and all, regardless of their ideology or field of interest bowed to the genius of an artist that had made of Toledo the scenario of universally known works.
Today, a century later the Museum del Greco was opened and the necessary planning of celebrating events of the 3rd centenary of the death of the painter was shown, is the time of doing it for the 4th centenary that will commemorated in 2014.
Our main challenges, include those of paying homage to Doménikos Theotokópoulos in the city that has best preserved his creations, whilst promoting our knowledge of the artist and his work and boosting Toledo's identity by strengthening its link with El Greco.