Chicago adventure: El Greco and Pizza

The opportunity to see a great exhibit of El Greco and the slight chance of salving my bruised soul for not being in Rome – I was supposed to arrive there today, as I did one year ago – brings me to Chicago.

A typical sight.

A few of the interesting pieces from the exhibit, which ends soon.

Here is an icon of El Greco, painting Luke painting the Blessed Virgin.   Damaged, yes, but still interesting.  Signed.

The monumental Assumption meant for the Monastery of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo.

Here is the Trinity for that same construction. Now in the Prado.

A detail from one of the version of the famous episode.   This one is an old friend from Minneapolis.

Quite a few pieces had copies in different sizes.   This was one of the ways that he kept himself in groceries.

King Louis is from the Louvre.

An Annunciation.   What a mind.

Another example of copies.   From Chicago and the National Gallery.

A fascinating an rare sculpture by el Greco, wood and polychrome.  It was well displayed amongst Crucifixions.

Back into the world with an El Greco sky over the Institute.   The outside floral arrangements were incredible.

And directly across the street.   Just recently there was the annual Route 66 Special Event for amateur radio operators.  Fun.

Since I was suppose to be in Rome –  supposed to arrive TODAY – we went to a Roman pizza place in the Fulton Market area.   The other shop is in Rome.  Terrific pizza.

But here in the Second City… frankly I think this was better than the Roman shop.

And on the way north, there were huge storms coming in.   The Cubs game was scrubbed.   St. Mary of the Angels against the clouds rolling in.

A fun day.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. JabbaPapa says:

    That pizza looks like what would be called foccaccia in southern Italy (northern foccaccia is different, don’t know about the Roman), or fougasse in the South of France — though I know looks can be deceiving, and the proof of the question would be in the pudding i.e. the base.

    The mushroom ones in the bottom photo are definitely pizza, though.

    All looks rather yummy !!

    I have said it before, but the best pizza al taglio I’ve ever had, hands down, was right next to the leaning tower in Pisa ; but that was in 2000 during my foot pilgrimage to Rome, so I’d say it’s doubtful that pizza hut still exists in 2020.

  2. JonPatrick says:

    I love Chucago. My wife and I were there a few times while our son was discerning a vocation with the Canons of St. John Cantius. God had other plans for him and he is now happily married. Especially the Art Institute, Millenium Park, and the architecture everywhere. It gets a bad rap because of crime in neighborhoods visitors usually don’t go to but the downtown is as safe as any city. Easy to get around on the “L” as the locals call it. I especially like the ride on the Blue line from the airport speeding past all the stopped traffic on the expressway. Glad you enjoyed your visit.

  3. Mariana2 says:

    Lovely El Greco stuff. Le pizze look good, too.

  4. tho says:

    Your pictures are outstanding. The Pizzas were a close second.

  5. Charivari Rob says:

    Is the El Greco exhibit a traveling show, Father, or a one-shot gathering there?
    I was able to see some in Madrid, I think, many years ago.

  6. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The El Greco show must be amazing. I love how the copies have some differences in expression.

    What is freaking me out is how much the Bonci Roman pizza looks like Marion’s from Dayton. Not exactly the same, by look of the cheese and other ingredients, and especially there’s a big difference in sausage, being cut into squares by knife rather than scissors, etc. But it’s a lot closer to Marion’s than any other pizza I’ve seen anywhere else. I’ve never heard Roman pizza discussed as an influence on it, but I guess it must have been one! A big one! And the crust looks like it must be similar.

  7. acardnal says:

    I’m surprised Chicago let you in! They have been denying entry to Wisconsinites periodically because of COVID1984.

    Also, surprised but pleased that the Art Institute was open.

    Pizza looks marvelous!

  8. Mary Jane says:

    This was one of my favorite of your food/places photo posts. That pizza! Yum. That art! Astounding. That sky! Ominous yet beautiful.

    My brother and his wife were married at St. Mary of the Angels! Hubby and I sang at their wedding. The inside of the church is gorgeous, and HUGE. The choir loft is something like three stories up. The acoustics in the church were fantastic. Here is what the acoustics in the *stairwell* to the choir loft sounded like (there’s a sound clip at this link):

  9. JillMary says:

    I love Bonci pizza! I discovered it on a food tour in Rome in 2016. Had it again in 2019. And finally had it in Chicago too before a Blackhawks game. Delicious every time.

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    Great photos from the Windy City Fr. Z.

    According to Paul Johnson’s “Art: A New History” Doménikos Theotokópoulos, El Greco, after leaving Crete for Venice and Rome may have been a pupil of Titian, and studied Michelangelo and Tintoretto. Then he left for Spain, where things went well and he was dubbed El Greco. His “View of Toledo,” a painting of a storm over Toledo now in the Met, has some claim to be the first monumental landscape.

    Speaking of monumental, so is that pizza. Someone should write an epic poem about that pizza.

    Nat King Cole had something to say about Route 66.

    Mary Jane: Thanks for the audio clip.

  11. Anneliese says:

    I hope you’re able to have a good hot dog or a hot Italian beef. Very jealous.

  12. acardnal says:

    Mary Jane, thanks for sharing that audio clip. VERY nice.

  13. It was in Paris. This is the other show. And reviews say it was better than the Paris show.

  14. Priam1184 says:

    My cousin was married in Saint Mary of the Angels a few years ago. A very beautiful church.

  15. SanSan says:

    Thank you for the outing Father!

  16. Charivari Rob says:

    Thank you.
    I did a little Googling, found a pretty good preview article from last year.
    It seems nothing came out of Spain for this show, so probably doesn’t have much of anything I saw in a ridiculously brief visit to the Prado in 1990.

  17. 67mcmahon says:

    Have you made Roman-style pizza, Fr. Z? I’ve been trying to replicate it ever since our family lived briefly on Via dei Cappellari and I took my tiny tots to Forno almost every day for pizza bianca. I had a breakthrough when I discovered the Bonci dough recipe online, though I gather Bonci is considered “pizza in teglia” and the pizza from Forno is “pizza alla pala.” So the recipe is not exactly Forno pizza bianca of happy memory but pretty close, and Bonci’s creativity with the toppings is a lot of fun and inspiring. Cacio e pepe, come on!

  18. JesusFreak84 says:

    Sure, make me homesick ;p

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