Spanish Art

Xanthe Brooke

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online August 2011 | | DOI:
Spanish Art

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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Most publications about the visual arts of the Iberian Peninsula have focused in the past on Spain’s so-called Golden Age in the 17th century, when its art is seen as having created its own distinctive style, exemplified by the work of celebrated painters such as Diego Velázquez. There are, however, many first-class artists—painters, graphic artists, and especially sculptors—of the 15th to 17th centuries who are still unknown beyond the world of the dedicated Hispanist. For this reason, this bibliography highlights such previously neglected areas as the multicultural artistic influences—Flemish, Italian, and Hispano-Muslim—of the 15th century, which prepared the way for what is sometimes termed the “Italian” Renaissance. This bibliography also emphasizes drawing and printmaking, an area that is often considered unrepresentative of Spain’s visual arts, though much research has been published on the graphic arts since the mid-1980s. Even more recently, publications have increased about Spanish sculpture and especially its distinctive polychromed processional figures and multitiered sculpted altarpieces (retablos). Some of the most innovative research has been technical art history using x-radiographic photography and pigment analysis on paintings, drawings, and sculpture. Much of this research has been published in the form of essays accompanying multidisciplinary exhibition catalogues, which often include discursive footnotes and a full scholarly apparatus of extensive bibliographies, detailed chronologies, and documentary appendices. From the late 1980s, many of these often blockbuster catalogues examined art patronage in the Renaissance and Baroque periods and usually illustrated lavishly both the applied and the fine arts. Initially, such important research was published only in Spanish, but increasingly exhibition catalogues in Spain are published in bilingual Spanish/English editions. Finally, there has been such a flourishing of important publications about individual 17th-century Spanish artists that only a small sample of publications has been included in this bibliography, and Velázquez has his own bibliography.

Article.  18785 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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