Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo

Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo was a Spanish aristocrat who died in 1323. Best known by the title "Count of Orgaz" (see note1), he is depicted in a 16th century painting, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, by El Greco which is widely acknowledged as the artist's masterpiece.[1]

Detail of the painting showing the Count
Detail of the painting, showing El Greco

The painting was commissioned for display in the Church of Santo Tomé in Toledo, where it remains to this day. It was part of a project organised in the 1580s by a priest, Andrés Núñez, who was refurbishing the burial chapel of Gonzalo Ruiz.[2] The painting juxtaposes the miraculous events which, according to legend, took place at the time the Count was buried (Saint Stephen and Saint Augustine descended in person from the heavens) with realistic depictions of the inhabitants of Toledo. Núñez is portrayed in the painting,[3] as are contemporaries from Toledo including the artist himself.

Access to the churchEdit

The church is opened on a daily basis. The building is of architectural interest, but the main attraction for tourists is the painting. An entrance fee is charged.[4]


1.^ Orgaz is a town in the province of Toledo. Somewhat confusingly, Gonzalo was not actually a count, but the family's title was upgraded to that of count in the 16th century.


  1. ^ "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz". Web Gallery of Art. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  2. ^ R.-M. Hagen–R. Hagen, What Great Paintings Say, II, 198
    * M. Lambraki-Plaka, El Greco-The Greek, 54
    * M. Tazartes, El Greco, 122
  3. ^ M. Lambraki-Plaka, A Tribute to El Greco, 77
  4. ^ "Official website of the church". Retrieved 2019-07-04.