Estilo desornamentado

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(Spanish, ‘stripped or unornamented style’)

A term, apparently in use by the 19th century, that describes a phase in Spanish architecture of the 16th and early 17th centuries which was in reaction to the very rich decoration of the Plateresque style. This much sparer style, which maintained the use of the classical Orders and reflected Jesuit disapproval of decorative excess, is exemplified by the work (1563–84) of Juan de Herrera at the great complex of the Escorial outside Madrid. The term is used by both British and American architectural historians, but not in Spain where writers have preferred to use the word ‘classicism’ to describe this episode in their native architecture.

Subjects: Art.

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