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This article is about the Spanish Renaissance of the 15th-16th centuries.
See Renaissance of the 12th century for the earlier Renaissance in Spain.

The Spanish Renaissance refers to a movement in Spain, emerging from the Italian Renaissance in Italy during the 14th century, that spread to Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries. The year 1492 is commonly accepted as the beginning of the influence of the Renaissance in Spain.

This new focus in art, literature and science, inspired by Classical antiquity and especially the Greco-Roman tradition, receives the transcendental impulse in this year by various successive historical events:

  • Unification of the longed-for Christian kingdom with the definitive taking of Granada, last city of Islamic Spain and the successive expulsions of thousands of Muslim and Jewish believers,
  • The official discovery of the western hemisphere, the Americas,
  • The publication of the first grammar of a vernacular European language, the Gramática (Grammar) by Antonio de Nebrija.

Historic antecedents[edit]

Image of Isabella I of Castile in the Rimado de la Conquista de Granada

The beginning of the Renaissance in Spain is closely linked to the historical-political life of the monarchy of the Catholic Monarchs. Its figures are the first to leave the medieval approaches that secured a feudal scheme of weak monarch over a powerful and restless nobility. The Catholic Monarchs unite the forces of the incipient state and ally with the principal families of the nobility to maintain their power. One of these families, the Mendoza, use the new style like distinction of its clan and, by extension, of the protection of the monarchy.

Little by little, the novel esthetic was introduced into the rest of the court and the clergy, mixing with purely Iberian styles, like the Nasrid art of the dying kingdom of Granada, the exalted and personal Gothic Castilian queen, and the Flemish tendencies in the official painting of the court and the Church. The assimilation of elements gave way to a personal interpretation of the orthodox Renaissance, which came to be called Plateresque. Therefore, secondary artists were brought in from Italy, apprentices were sent to the Italian shops, they brought designs, architectural plans, books and engravings, paintings, etc., of which portraits, themes and composition were copied.

King Charles I was more predisposed to the new art, paradoxically called the old way, remitted to the Classical antiquity. His direct patronage achieved some of the most beautiful works of the special and unique Spanish Renaissance style: the patronage of Almazan de Covarrubias, his commissions for Titian, who never agreed to relocate to Spain. Painters of great quality were, far from the courtier nucleus, Pedro Berruguete, Juan de Juanes, Paolo da San Leocadio, of whom the delicate Virgin of the Caballero de Montesa is highlighted, Yáñez de la Almazan and Gerardo de los Llanos.

The painting of the Spanish Renaissance is normally completed in oil. It realizes interiors perfectly subject to the laws of perspective, without over-emphasis of the people. The figures are all of the same size and anatomically correct.

The colors and the shading are applied in tonal ranges, according to the Italian teachings. To accentuate the Italian style, in addition, it is common to add elements directly copied from it, like the adornments a candelieri (borders of vegetables and cupids that surround the frames), or Roman ruins in the countrysides, including in scenes of the life of Christ.


Painting and sculpture[edit]

El caballero de la mano en el pecho, by El Greco



  • The Burial of the Count of Orgaz by El Greco
  • The Laocoön by El Greco
  • Annunciation by Pedro Berruguete
  • Pieta by Fernando Gallego
  • Portrait of Isabel Clara Eugenia by Alonso Sánchez Coello
  • Virgin of the Milk or Virgin with Child (Luis de Morales).



Court of the Palace of Charles V, 180° panorama.


Francisco de Salinas


See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Renaissance — Please support Wikipedia.
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16 news items

Woodstock Times

Woodstock Times
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:00:00 -0700

... around the town, as this year's Spanish theme brings Manuel De Falla's flamenco ballet/symphonic suite El Amor Brujo; a semi-staged The Barber of Seville; the Cambridge Chamber Singers performing music of the Spanish Renaissance; and much more.
Times Herald-Record
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:45:00 -0700

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice opens Wednesday evening in the small Ulster County hamlet. Timothy Malcolm wrote about this festival, which raises appreciation for the musical and theatrical voice, in the recent issue of Ulster Magazine.
About - News & Issues
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:30:00 -0700

The Spanish Renaissance, or "Golden Age" which immediately preceded Cervantes' life and the creation of this novel, gave rise to new discussions about and interpretations of art, morality, identity, and humanism; however, the popular literature of ...

Almanac Weekly

Almanac Weekly
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:00:00 -0700

Flamenco dancing, an evening of classic Mediterranean heartthrob songs titled “O Sole Mio,” a production of Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville and a performance of Spanish Renaissance choral music by the Cambridge Chamber Singers are among ...


Mon, 07 Jul 2014 10:37:30 -0700

Among other things, he built the opulent Ponce de Leon Hotel, a stunning example of Spanish Renaissance architecture and one of the first buildings in the nation to have electricity. The hotel's luxurious ballroom is ringed by Tiffany stained glass ...
St. Augustine Record
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:07:30 -0700

In 1887, railroad magnate Henry Flagler commissioned building designers Carrere and Hastings to construct the Hotel Alcazar in the Spanish Renaissance style. The opulent structure accommodated wealthy tourists for years before closing in 1932. Chicago ...
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:56:15 -0700

Across the street from Green's is St. Edward Catholic Church, 144 N. County Rd. The 1926 Spanish Renaissance church is ornately beautiful with an intricate hand-painted ceiling worth admiring. But a big reason visitors stop is because this is where the ...

Folio Weekly

Folio Weekly
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 15:30:13 -0700

Its reputation as the most beautiful gallery in Northeast Florida is well-earned — with stunning Spanish Renaissance Revival architecture and a prime location in Jacksonville Beach — but J. Johnson Gallery is more than a pretty face. Over more than a ...

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