Painting in Spain: From the Escorial to the Enlightenment

Spain’s relationship to Europe and the rest of the world is better understood than its internal culture and art history. Yet even with the exclusion of Velazquez, Murillo and Goya, Spain produced many artists whose works were the equal of any. See how Spanish art evolved, from the Italian artists who came to decorate Philip II’s royal palace and monastery, the Escorial, to the influence of the European Enlightenment on the culture and art of Spain in the latter half of the eighteenth century.

This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.


  • Geoffrey Parker, Imprudent King: A New Life of Philip II (Yale University Press, 2014).
  • Jonathan Brown and Carmen Garrido, Velazquez: The Technique of Genius (Yale University Press, 2003).
  • Jonathan Brown, Painting in Spain, 1500 – 1700 (Yale University Press, 1999).
  • On Art and Painting: Vicente Carducho and Baroque Spain edited by Jean Andrews, Jeremy Roe, and Oliver Noble Wood (University of Wales Press, 2016).
  • Gretchen Hirschauer, Luis Melendez: Master of the Spanish Still Life (National Gallery of Art, 2009).
  • Henry Kamen, The Escorial: Art and Power in the Renaissance (Yale University Press, 2010).
  • Mark P. McDonald, Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain (The British Museum Press, 2012).
  • Leticia Ruiz, Juan Bautista Maíno (1581-1649) (Museo Nacional del Prado and Ediciones El Viso, 2009) Spanish edition with English addenda.
  • Sarah Symmons, Goya (Phaidon, 1998).
  • Janis Tomlinson, Painting in Spain: El Greco to Goya, 1561 -1828 (Calman and King Ltd, 1997).
  • Tara Zanardi, Framing Majismo: Art and Royal Identity in Eighteenth-Century Spain (Penn State University Press, 2016).


  • Philip II and the patronage of Italian painters at the Escorial. Early Spanish Renaissance painting was greatly influenced by Northern Flemish artists. But in the decoration of the giant royal palace and monastery, the Escorial, Philip II turned largely to Italian painters. We will see how their influence was instrumental in raising the standard of Spanish painting to a level that could equal that of the rest of Europe.
  • “Late” Renaissance and Baroque art in Toledo, Valencia, Seville and Madrid. Examine the influence of regional centres of the visual arts in late sixteenth and seventeenth century Spain.
  • The Bourbon Court and the French aesthetic. With the end of the Hapsburg dynasty and following the Spanish war of succession, the new Bourbon king Philip V, having spent his childhood in the palace of Versailles, favoured the French aesthetic tastes that had come to dominate Europe following the ascendancy of the French king Louis XIV. We will see how this influenced Spanish art and culture within the first half of the eighteenth century.
  • Goya and his time. In 1744 Spain’s own Royal Academy for the arts was formed. This emerged in part, from a new localised vision for Spanish art. We will see how this was expressed in the art of the painter Francesco Goya and his contemporaries, and how this renewed Spanish identity, was in turn influenced by the broader concerns of the European Enlightenment.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Gain a broad understanding of how the art of Spain was reflective of its evolving culture, from the early-modern period until the European Enlightenment.
  2. Identify different stylistic characteristics in Spanish art from the “late” Renaissance until the end of the eighteenth century.
  3. Gain an appreciation for both well known Spanish artists of the period, while also expanding our interest into previously famous artists, who are less well known today.
$65 Limited

<p>Spain’s relationship to Europe and the rest of the world is better understood than its internal culture and art history. Yet even with the exclusion of Velazquez, Murillo and Goya, Spain produced

28 Oct

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