Going up the hill with almost no breath, someone is waiting for us at the corner of Santo Tome St. lost in the wonderful brick architecture of the area. Fernando Lallana, representative of the Society for Cultural Events El Greco 2014, shows up earlier to our appointment and he smiles relaxing as we approach. Fernando is a great entrepreneur and passionate about the history and culture known for his historical novel about the journey that Joanna of Castile and Philip of Austria took from Brussels to Toledo in 1501, Florentius. His shy smile becomes a warm welcome once we arrive, demonstrating the hospitality of Toledo. This is a special year to our friend since he is now part of the team that has managed to turn the celebrations around the figure of Greco in Toledo in one of the most important cultural events of the year internationally.
These days the city has more than ever that Greco mood. Their facades and roofs seem to fade in the sky following the Mannerist style of the painter himself and the crowd of tourists full the churches and museums where the city is carrying out the commemoration of the Fourth Centenary of the death of the renowned artist. While continues guiding us, Fernando tells us that this event is especially linked to the public with the slogan "The Centenary of the people" because, in his words, El Greco must be known and appreciated by all and this requires, in addition to organize magnificent exhibitions, outreach work to approach the figure of the painter to the people. Therefore, and as it was promised, this year and for all art lovers the Society has created special publications in collaboration with the Editorial CELYA as "El Greco in the cinema", the poems "The Cretan" or the guide "The Grecorrido" (formed with the name of Greco and the Spanish word for tour 'recorrido') and some comics for the youngest audience.
With the coffees already ended, Fernando points out a small illustration we have seen throughout the day in different places. In it, a hand like the one that El Greco drew in 'The Nobleman with his hand on his chest' with the 'w' finger position emerges from a heart. Fernando reveals that it is the identifying logo of El Greco 2014 and also that the hand painted that way is common in most of the artist's work, in 2014 we remember El Greco and the word remember comes from the Latin re-cordis, which means to pass again through the heart.
Before leaving the cafe, Fernando shows us one last reason which demonstrates why the celebrations in Toledo have reached such a high level of fame beyond the Spanish borders, a series of Products of the Fourth Centenary are already on sale: olive oil Supremum Greco, marzipan from Monastery of Santo Domingo el Antiguo where the artist was buried, IV Centenario wine and beer Domus Greco blending elements from different cultures linked to the painter: Eastern cinnamon, West malt and hops, Mediterranean citrus and almonds and saffron from Toledo.
Illustrations: Aaron Mora, Espresso Fiorentino's illustrator