Baroque art in Spain

Spain was the dominant power in Europe for much of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

1600 - 1700

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A Still Life of Global Dimensions: Antonio de Pereda’s <em>Still Life with Ebony Chest</em>
A Still Life of Global Dimensions: Antonio de Pereda’s Still Life with Ebony Chest

In this still life, objects and customs from around the world converge around one delicious food: chocolate.

Jerónimo de Balbás, <em>Altar of the Kings (Altar de los Reyes)</em>
Jerónimo de Balbás, Altar of the Kings (Altar de los Reyes)

This multimedia architectural altarpiece took two decades to complete, and required teams of workers in many media.

Juan Martínez Montañés and Francisco Pacheco, <em>Christ of Clemency</em>
Juan Martínez Montañés and Francisco Pacheco, Christ of Clemency

The sculptor Martínez Montañés was the “God of Wood,” but it’s the painter Pacheco who brought this work to life.

Diego Velázquez, <em>Juan de Pareja</em>
Diego Velázquez, Juan de Pareja

How do you paint your own slave? Painter Julie Mehretu explores Velázquez’s answer to this troubling question.

Jusepe de Ribera, <em>The Martyrdom of Saint Philip</em>
Jusepe de Ribera, The Martyrdom of Saint Philip

Ribera depicts the moment before St. Philip’s death, yet the martyr’s body distorts and collapses before our eyes.

Diego Velázquez, <em>Las Meninas</em>
Diego Velázquez, Las Meninas

This puzzling painting about painting is half genre scene, half family portrait. But what’s on the large canvas?

Diego Velázquez, <em>Vulcan’s Forge</em>
Diego Velázquez, Vulcan’s Forge

Don’t strike the messenger! Interrupted at his forge, a horrified Vulcan looks ready to hammer Apollo.

Diego Velázquez, <em>Los Borrachos (The Drunks),</em> or <em>The Triumph of Bacchus</em>
Diego Velázquez, Los Borrachos (The Drunks), or The Triumph of Bacchus

Velázquez lends immediacy and gritty realism to a mythological subject. We are right there, ready to partake.

Francisco de Zurbarán, <em>The Martyrdom of Saint Serapion</em>
Francisco de Zurbarán, The Martyrdom of Saint Serapion

Zurbarán’s primary patrons were monks, and this image of St. Serapion’s lifeless body inspired contemplation.

Diego Velázquez, <em>The Surrender of Breda</em>
Diego Velázquez, The Surrender of Breda

Disorganized and youthful, Dutch troops surrender to the seasoned Spanish army. Count the victors’ spears!

Diego Velázquez, <em>The Waterseller of Seville</em>
Diego Velázquez, The Waterseller of Seville

Combining earthtones with dramatic lighting, Velázquez meticulously renders a waterseller’s world.

Juan Sanchez de Cotán, <em>Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber</em>
Juan Sanchez de Cotán, Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber

Whichever way you slice it, that’s one inscrutable melon. Does it symbolize geometry, astronomy, or empire?

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