Famous Spanish Artists And Their Iconic Paintings
Spain has a long and illustrious artistic past, and it has played a significant part in the development of western painting. The Spanish Golden Age spanned the early 16th century to the late 17th century, during which the country flourished in the arts and literature, and became a significant contributor to the European art world, among other things.
El Greco, Diego Velazquez, Zurbaran, and Murillo are among the most well-known artists of this period. Francisco Goya, the most prominent Spanish artist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, is frequently referred to as both the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns.
Spanish painters have had a huge influence on modern art, with some of the most popular artists of the modern era hailing from the country, including Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dali.
Famous Spanish Paintings
- Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso
- The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
- Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez
- The Third of May 1808 by Francisco Goya
- The Farm by Joan Miró
- The View of Toledo by El Greco
- Pablo Picasso's portrait by Juan Gris
- The Young Beggar by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
- Women Walking on the Beach by Joaquín Sorolla
- The Crucifixion by Francisco de Zurbarán
The Young Ladies of Avignon (originally named The Brothel of Avignon) is a huge oil painting by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, completed in 1907. The painting, which is part of the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection, depicts five naked female prostitutes in a brothel on Carrer d'Avinyó in Barcelona, Spain. None of the figures are conventionally feminine, and each is depicted in an unsettling aggressive manner.
The women are depicted with angular and disconnected body outlines, giving them a slightly threatening appearance. The figure on the left has Egyptian or southern Asian face traits and attire. The two characters on the left are depicted in Picasso's native Spain's Iberian style, while the two on the right are depicted with African mask-like features. According to Picasso, the ethnic primitivism conveyed by these masks inspired him to create "a totally original creative style of compelling, even barbaric intensity." Picasso departs from traditional European painting in this application of primitivism and rejection of viewpoint in favor of a flat, two-dimensional plane.
This proto-cubist piece is widely regarded as important in the evolution of both cubism and modern art in the early twentieth century. Even among the painter's closest collaborators and friends, Les Demoiselles was revolutionary and contentious, causing significant rage and dispute. Although Matisse believed the picture to be a poor joke, he responded to it indirectly in his 1908 painting Bathers with a Turtle. Although Georges Braque detested the artwork at first, he examined it in considerable detail, possibly more than anybody else. The cubist revolution was sparked by his friendship and partnership with Picasso. Later commentators remarked on its resemblance to Cézanne's The Bathers, Paul Gauguin's statue Oviri, and El Greco's Opening of the Fifth Seal.
The work was deemed immoral at the time of its first showing in 1916. The painting, which was created in Picasso's Bateau-Lavoir studio in Montmartre, Paris, was first displayed publicly in July 1916 at the Salon d'Antin, in an exhibition organized by poet André Salmon. It was at this exhibition that Salmon (who had previously labeled the painting Le bordel philosophique in 1912) renamed the work Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, rather than the original title chosen by Picasso, Le Bordel d'Avignon. Picasso, who referred to it as mon bordel ("my brothel") or Le Bordel d'Avignon, despised Salmon's moniker and favored the bowdlerization Las chicas de Avignon instead ("The Girls of Avignon").
Pablo Ruiz Picasso
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish artist, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer who lived in France for most of his adult life. He is acknowledged as one of the most prominent artists of the twentieth century, having co-founded the Cubist movement, invented built sculpture, co-invented collage, and contributed to the development and exploration of a wide range of styles.
The proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937), a dramatic depiction of the bombing of Guernica by German and Italian air forces during the Spanish Civil War, are among his most famous works.
The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
The Persistence of Memory is a 1931 painting by Salvador Dali that is one of Surrealism's most well-known works. Since 1934, the painting has been in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, which got it from an anonymous donor. It was first presented at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1932.
It's well-known and regularly mentioned in popular culture, and it's also known by other names, such as "Melting Clocks," "The Soft Watches," or "The Melting Watches." It exemplifies Dal's philosophy of "softness" and "hardness," which was at the time essential to his thought. "The soft watches are an unconscious emblem of space and temporal relativity, a Surrealist reflection on the collapse of our illusions of a fixed cosmic order," Dawn Adès remarked.
This interpretation argues that Dal was adopting Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity into his perspective of the world. When Ilya Prigogine asked if this was the case, Dal answered that the soft watches were inspired by a surrealist vision of a Camembert melting in the sun, not by Einstein's theory of relativity.
Salvador Dal was a surrealist artist from Spain who was known for his technical expertise, meticulous draftsmanship, and startling and unusual imagery. Dal was born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, and acquired his official fine arts education in Madrid. From a young age, he was influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters, and he became increasingly interested in Cubism and avant-garde movements. In the late 1920s, he became more interested in Surrealism and entered the Surrealist organization in 1929, quickly becoming one of its most prominent proponents.
The Persistence of Memory, his best-known piece, was created in August 1931 and is considered one of the most notable Surrealist paintings. Dal spent the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) in France before moving to the United States in 1940, where he found economic success. In 1948, he returned to Spain, where he announced his conversion to Catholicism and established his "nuclear mysticism" style, which was influenced by his interests in classicism, mysticism, and modern scientific advancements.
Las Meninas is one of the most frequently studied works in Western painting as a result of its intricacies. As per F. J. Sánchez Cantón, the painting depicts the main chamber in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid during the reign of King Philip IV of Spain and features several figures, most of whom are identified as members of the Spanish court, captured in a particular moment as if in a snapshot, according to some commentators. Some glance out the canvas at the viewer, while others converse with one another.
Infanta Margaret Theresa, who is five years old, is flanked by her maids of honor, chaperone, bodyguard, two dwarfs, and a dog. Velázquez represents himself painting on a gigantic canvas behind them. Velázquez looks beyond the pictorial area, to where the painting's observer would stand. The king and queen's upper bodies are reflected in a mirror in the background. Although some academics have argued that their image is a reflection from the painting Velázquez is shown working on, they appear to be situated beyond the picture area in a position similar to that of the observer.
Las Meninas has long been regarded as one of the most significant works of Western art. It depicts the "theology of painting," according to Luca Giordano, a Baroque painter, and the head of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1827. In a letter to his successor David Wilkie, Sir Thomas Lawrence called the work "the genuine philosophy of the art." It has been referred to as "Velázquez's pinnacle achievement, a very self-conscious, deliberate display of what painting may achieve, and arguably the most penetrating statement ever made on the possibilities of the easel painting" in recent years.
Diego Rodrguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter of the Spanish Golden Age and a prominent artist in the court of King Philip IV of Spain and Portugal. He was a contemporary Baroque artist who was known for his unique style (c. 1600-1750). He began by painting in a rigorous tenebrist technique, later evolving into a freer style with vivid brushwork.
He produced scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family and the common folk, ending in his masterwork Las Meninas, in addition to innumerable renderings of historical and culturally significant scenes (1656). Velázquez's work served as a model for realist and impressionist painters in the nineteenth century. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dal, and Francis Bacon paid homage to Velázquez in the twentieth century by reinterpreting some of his most recognizable pictures.
The Third of May 1808, also known as Los Fusilamientos del Tres de Mayo, is a painting by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya that was completed in 1814 and is presently housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Goya aimed to remember Spanish resistance to Napoleon's forces during the Peninsular War's occupation in 1808. It was commissioned by the provisional government of Spain at Goya's recommendation, along with a companion piece of the same size, The Second of May 1808 (or The Charge of the Mamelukes).
The painting's substance, presentation, and emotional impact establish it as a seminal, classic representation of war's atrocities. The Third of May 1808 is a clear break from tradition, yet drawing on many sources from both high and popular art. It has no antecedent and is regarded as one of the earliest paintings of the modern age, departing from Christian art traditions and traditional depictions of combat.
The Third of May 1808 is "the first big picture that can be termed revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, subject, and goal," according to art historian Kenneth Clark. The Third of May 1808 influenced a number of significant works, including Édouard Manet's series and Pablo Picasso's Massacre in Korea and Guernica.
Francisco José de Goya was a romantic painter and printer who lived in Spain. He is often regarded as the most important Spanish painter of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. His paintings, sketches, and engravings were influenced by significant 19th- and 20th-century painters and represented contemporary historical upheavals.
Goya is known as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Aragon, in 1746 to a middle-class family. From the age of 14, he studied painting with José Luzán y Martinez before moving to Madrid to study with Anton Raphael Mengs. In 1773, he married Josefa Bayeu. Their lives were marked by a series of losses and pregnancies, with only one child, a boy, living to adulthood. In 1786, Goya was appointed as a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and his early work included portraits of the Spanish aristocracy and royalty, as well as Rococo-style tapestry cartoons for the royal palace.
The Farm by Joan Miró
Joan Miró painted The Farm between the summer of 1921 in Mont-roig del Camp and the winter of 1922 in Paris. It's a sort of inventory of his family's masia (traditional Catalan farmhouse) in Mont-roig del Camp, which they've had since 1911. This work was important to Miró, who described it as "a summary of my entire life in the countryside" as well as "the summary of one phase of my work, but also the point of departure for what was to come."
It was given to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, by Mary Hemingway in 1987, and came from the private collection of American writer Ernest Hemingway, who described it as having "all that you feel about Spain when you are there and all that you feel when you are away and can't go there." No one else has been able to depict these two opposed concepts." The artwork encapsulates everything of the familiarity associated with Miró. It was created in a location where visitors may observe the daily activities of a farmhouse as well as the features of the building objects and animals.
The obvious definition of the pictures allows everyone to recognize them without being confused. The possibility of union between the object and animal piece by Braque "says justification" and get moving among the other elements of the work depicted, much like a stock shows a mule, some chickens, a dog, a goat, a rabbit, snails, insects, and lizards, most isolated and most of them placed on any object that ago as a display on pedestals. The gaps and cracks in the plastered wall are part of the house's construction. A big eucalyptus is born of a black circle in the painting's center, which contrasts with the white circle depicting the Sun from the sky.
Born in Barcelona, Joan Miró I Ferrà was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist. The Fundació Joan Miró, a museum dedicated to his art, was founded in his native city of Barcelona in 1975, and the Fundació Pilar I Joan Miró, in his adopted city of Palma de Mallorca, in 1981. His work has received international praise and has been described as Surrealism with a personal flair, occasionally deviating towards Fauvism and Expressionism.
He was known for his fascination with the unconscious or subconscious mind, which he expressed through his re-creation of the childish. His difficult-to-categorize paintings also reflected a sense of Catalan patriotism. Miró expressed disdain for traditional painting methods as a means of sustaining bourgeois society in several interviews from the 1930s onwards, declaring an "assassination of painting" in favor of disrupting the visual features of established painting.
The View of Toledo by El Greco
The View of Toledo (original title Vista de Toledo) is one of El Greco's two surviving landscapes. View and Plan of Toledo, on the other hand, is on exhibit at the El Greco Museum in Toledo. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has a view of Toledo itself. A landscape portrait of Toledo can be seen in View of Toledo. Blues, black, white, and brilliant greens dominate the painting. It's entirely made up of earth tones.
The stark color contrast between the black skies above and the vibrant green of the hills below is very striking. The picture of darkness or moodiness that is present in Toledo is depicted in this vista of Toledo. Observers may notice how the sky darkens dramatically as they get closer to the city. El Greco uses a palette rich in vibrant hues. People can perceive the difference between light and dark when studying View of Toledo. Rolling hills with Toledo at the top are pictured. In contrast to the brilliant green of the hills, Toledo is a relatively gloomy city.
The city itself, on the other hand, is a mild contrast to the dark tone of the sky. El Greco makes good use of pure colors. On the left, the site of the Castle of San Servando is appropriately shown. Many other landmarks that refer to Toledo, on the other hand, are not in the precise position for the city. This, according to Walter Liedtke, is because El Greco painted the View of Toledo as a vision of the future. El Greco may have drawn the city of Toledo in a different style to meet his imagination or ideal version of Toledo, according to art historians Jonathon Brown and Richard Kagan.
El Greco was born in the Kingdom of Candia (modern-day Crete), which was part of the Republic of Venice, Italy, at the time, and was the heart of Post-Byzantine painting. Before moving to Venice at the age of 26, he learned and became a master in that tradition, as had other Greek artists. He traveled to Rome in 1570, where he founded a workshop and completed several works.
El Greco expanded his style with elements of Mannerism and the Venetian Renaissance learned from several renowned artists of the time, most notably Tintoretto, during his sojourn in Italy. He relocated to Toledo, Spain, in 1577, and remained there until his death. El Greco earned numerous large contracts at Toledo, where he created some of his most famous works, including View of Toledo and Opening of the Fifth Seal.
El Greco's dramatic and expressionistic approach perplexed his contemporaries but gained popularity in the twentieth century. El Greco is recognized as a forerunner of both Expressionism and Cubism, and poets and writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikos Kazantzakis found inspiration in his personality and works. Modern experts have described El Greco as an artist who is so unique that he does not belong to any particular school. He is most recognized for his tortuously elongated figures and frequently strange or phantasmagorical coloring, which combines Byzantine and Western painting traditions.
Pablo Picasso's portrait by Juan Gris
Juan Gris visited Paris in 1906, where he met Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and took part in the Cubist movement's growth. Six years later, Gris was labeled a Cubist and dubbed "Picasso's follower" by at least one reviewer. Gris' style is influenced by Analytic Cubism, with its deconstruction and simultaneous viewing of things, but it is distinguished by a more systematic geometry and crystalline structure. His sitter's head, neck, and torso were fragmented into multiple planes and simple geometric shapes, but they were all structured inside a regulated, compositional structure of diagonals.
The artist further organized the structure of this portrait by limiting his palette to cool blue, brown, and gray tones that, when combined, appear bright and form a soft undulating rhythm across the painting's surface. Picasso was represented by Gris as a painter, with a palette in his hand. The inscription "Hommage à Pablo Picasso" in the lower right of the painting demonstrates Gris' admiration for Picasso as a leader of Paris' creative circles and a pioneer of Cubism. At the same time, when Gris displayed the portrait at the Salon des Indépendants in the spring of 1912, the inscription helped him cement his standing in the Paris art scene.
José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter who was born in Madrid and spent the majority of his career in France. His works are among the most unique of the new creative genre Cubism, which he is closely associated with. From late 1916 to 1917, Gris's work shows a greater simplicity of geometric structure, as well as a blurring of the separation between objects and context, subject matter, and background.
The Young Beggar by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Murillo's work, The Young Beggar, also known as The Lice-Ridden Boy is the first recorded image of the street urchin. The poverty of Spanish children in the 17th century motivated it, and it was painted in the style of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Murillo's artwork depicts an orphaned youngster and employs a complementing light and shade approach. It was originally maintained in Louis XVI's royal collection and is considered one of his most popular works from the Spanish Baroque period.
It is currently housed at Paris's Louvre Museum. The widespread sorrow in Seville's streets during the Golden Age probably inspired this work of art. Spain faced a problem in the 17th century with abandoned children who were left to fend for themselves. One of these children is seen in The Young Beggar, who is in the process of getting rid of lice. As a result of bad management in seventeenth-century Spain, Murillo was inspired to produce a series of genre paintings showing orphaned youngsters surviving on the streets of Seville. There was not only tension among people due to religious differences, but there were also epidemics that afflicted the children.
Murillo's paintings were inspired by these unique circumstances. Murillo's childhood may have motivated him to make such works, and he took inspiration from his surroundings. He was orphaned as a child and fostered by family. This series of street kids could have been influenced by his childhood. The popularity of Spanish picaresque literature at the time impacted Murillo's paintings of impoverished class residents and low-life teenagers. Murillo was greatly influenced by the works of novelist Miguel de Cervantès, who was noted for telling stories of rogue heroes and foolish knights. Murillo's earlier works, such as The Young Beggar, were inspired by his teacher Jorge Castillo and artists such as Francisco de Zurbarán and Alonzo Cano.
Instead, it employs stark contrasts of light and shade, similar to the style of Caravaggio, an Italian painter. It demonstrates Murillo's beautiful manner, in which he used expert brushwork as well as chiaroscuro to give his subject an intimate detail. Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Constable, and Édouard Manet were all influenced by this style.
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Baroque painter from Spain. Murillo painted a large number of paintings of contemporary women and children, while being best known for his religious works. These vibrant, realistic pictures of flower girls, street urchins, and beggars provide a comprehensive and appealing chronicle of his era's everyday life. Murillo had a large number of students and admirers.
His paintings were widely imitated, ensuring his reputation in Spain and fame throughout Europe, and his work was more widely known than that of any other Spanish artist before the 19th century. Gainsborough and Greuze were among the artists affected by his style. On November 29, 2018, Google released a doodle to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Murillo's birth.
Women Walking on the Beach by Joaquín Sorolla
For a seaside vista, the big canvas is almost square in dimension and unusually gigantic. Sorolla's wife Clotilde and his eldest daughter Maria are shown as life-size people. In his hometown of Valencia, Sorolla painted the seascape of the Playa de El Cabanyal beach. Both women bend forward slightly, as though moving closer to the right edge. The daughter Maria has slightly tilted her head to her right shoulder and is staring towards the spectator, while the wife stands straight and aligned to the edge. Both the mother and the girl are dressed in long white sundresses.
The beautiful presentation, which includes a straw hat for each and a parasol for the mother, is characteristic of 1910 fashion. Maria, 19, wears a modest floor-length outfit that draws attention to her slim figure. The dress is finished with a stand-up collar at the neck. The tight-fitting sleeves contrast with the rest of the gown and are made of a more transparent white cloth, allowing the skin to shine through. A panel of cloth fixed below the breast on a big ring is made of a similar fabric. Behind the daughter, the sea wind whips the material into arabesques. A brown leather shoe shows beneath the garment, with side reflections emphasizing the smooth surface.
Maria wears a yellow straw hat with a wide, sweeping brim and purple flowers and a turquoise bow in her right hand. Her brown hair is pulled back in a knot, revealing her beautiful face. Clotilde Sorolla, the figure behind the daughter, wears a white garment with a white belt around her hips. As a result, the breasts and buttocks are more defined than the daughters. Clothilde wears a cropped dress with cropped sleeves and a white cloth jacket on her left forearm in front of her tummy. She has an open white parasol in her left hand, which is tilted to the ground on the left side. Under Clotilde's dress are two lovely white women's shoes with modest heels. Clotilde wears a purple-colored straw hat that is also embellished with purple flowers.
A greenish-transparent veil is also wrapped over the entire hat, falling forward over her face and being blown almost horizontally backward in the wind. Clotilde's right arm is bent upward, and her hand is resting on the veil. This gives the idea that she needs to tweak it or even hold it in place due to the wind veil. Clotilde's head is only partially visible. The majority of the face in profile is in shadow, with only the chin in lighter sunlight. In addition, the wide-sweeping hat almost totally hides the hair. A strand of dark hair can be seen just behind a pearl earring. The face of the mother is veiled by the shade of the hat, while the youthful face of the daughter Maria faces directly into the sun.
The two women appear to be upper-class women spending their spare time in the summer with pleasant temperatures and light winds, as evidenced by their clothing and accessories. In the foreground at the bottom, a mother and daughter stand a few meters from the water on an ocher expanse of sand. The sand surface, unlike the persons represented, is depicted in small strokes. The transition from the beach to the sea is seamless behind the two women. The viewer's perspective is somewhat elevated, obscuring the horizon. Instead, a curl of white foam rides a wave at the top of the screen, replacing the horizon, while the beach and the water form a curtain-like background. Sorolla used lengthy brushstrokes to paint the water, which shimmers in many colors of blue.
The water is a mild blue tint in front of Clotilde's chest, while the women's backs are darker colors of blue. The area to the right of the daughter, where the turquoise ocean surface is difficult to differentiate from the coast, is dimly visible. The white of the dress and the parasol is the image's main hue. Sorolla, like the French impressionists, has blended this white with a variety of other hues. So the light and shadow effects are formed by blue, yellow, lilac, or orange colors in white. The figures stand out from the rest of the image because of their vivid whites. The light is typical of a Mediterranean summer evening in the early evening.
The sun, which is now low in the sky, emerges from the viewer's perspective on both sides, casting lengthy shadows on the beach behind them. The use of these lighting effects under the southern sun is typical Valenciano for Luminismo, a kind of Neo-Impressionism that emerged in Spain from Impressionism and whose major representative was Joaquin Sorolla.
Joaquín SorollaSpanish painter Joaqun Sorolla y Bastida. Sorolla was a master of portraiture, landscape painting, and colossal works with social and historical subjects. His most well-known works are distinguished by a deft depiction of people and landscapes in the strong sunlight of Spain and on sunny water.
The Crucifixion by Francisco de Zurbarán
In 1626, Zurbarán signed a fresh contract with the Dominicans of Seville's San Pablo de Real Monastery to paint 21 paintings in eight months. One of these was Christ on the Cross, which was so well received by the artist's contemporaries that the city council of Seville advised he stay permanently in the city in 1629. The almost-sculptural figure of Christ on the Cross, which shines out against the black background, is devoutly contemplated by a painter. It's Saint Luke, who was a doctor and an artist in addition to being an evangelist.
This biblical analogy may conceal a broader allusion to the usefulness of painting as the most useful art form for religious devotion. It has also been suggested that this is a self-portrait by Zurbarán, albeit one that is more symbolic than literal. Christ appears to be nailed to the Cross with four nails, a formula first proposed by Dürer and popularized by Seville painters such as Pacheco, Velasquez, and Alonso Cano during the seventeenth century.
The Infante Sebastián Gabriel (1811-1875), and later his son, Alfonso de Borbón y Braganza, owned this piece. It was purchased by the Prado Museum in 1936 with monies from the Count of Cartagena's Legacy.
Francisco de Zurbarán
Francisco de Zurbarán was a painter who lived in Spain. His religious paintings of monks, nuns, and martyrs, as well as his still-lifes, are his most well-known works. Because of his mastery of chiaroscuro, Zurbarán earned the moniker "Spanish Caravaggio." Juan de Zurbarán, the painter, was his son. He painted his figures straight from nature, and he made extensive use of the lay-figure in his drapery studies, which he excelled in. As a result of his affinity for white draperies, the mansions of the white-robed Carthusians appear frequently in his paintings.
Zurbarán is reported to have stuck to these strict practices throughout his long career, which was lucrative, entirely confined to Spain, and marked by few episodes other than those of his daily labor. His subjects were generally stern and ascetic religious vigils, with the soul chastising the flesh into submission, and the compositions were frequently reduced to a single figure. The tone of color is typically fairly bluish, and the manner is more reserved and chastened than Caravaggio's.
The meticulously produced foregrounds, which are predominantly massed in light and shade, achieve extraordinary effects. Backgrounds are frequently flat and black. When interior or external locations are depicted, the result is suggestive of theater backdrops on a shallow stage. Zurbaran had difficulties painting deep space.