Spain: 15th – 16th century

Expeditions to the Americas, and the often destructive colonization and evangelization that followed, helped the Spanish monarchs to amass a great fortune based on indigenous labor and natural resources.

1400–1600

Beginner's guide

During the Renaissance, the Spanish empire extended throughout western Europe and beyond.

videos + essays

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The Sopetrán Lamentation in wood
The Sopetrán Lamentation in wood

A theatre box in wood, the Sopetrán Lamentation is a stunning 15th-century sculpture from Spain.

Treasure from Spain, lusterware as luxury
Treasure from Spain, lusterware as luxury

Ceramics that shimmer like gold! Lusterware ceramics made in Manises, Spain in the 15th century were some of the most desirable objects of their time.

Alejo Fernández, <em>The Virgin of the Navigators</em>
Alejo Fernández, The Virgin of the Navigators

If we read Alejo Fernández's The Virgin of the Navigators closely, we can learn an enormous amount about Spain’s role in exploration, trade and commerce, conquest and colonization, and slavery.

Alonso Berruguete, <em>Abraham and Isaac</em>
Alonso Berruguete, Abraham and Isaac

Alonso Berruguete is the most famous sculptor that you have never heard of.

A Renaissance St. James as pilgrim
A Renaissance St. James as pilgrim

A Netherlandish artist, a Middle Eastern apostle, a Spanish queen, and a New York museum.

Introduction to gender in renaissance Italy
Introduction to gender in renaissance Italy

Throughout Europe women’s relegation to the domestic sphere was rooted in Christian tradition that placed blame for humanity’s fall from grace upon Eve, the first woman.

Female artists in the renaissance
Female artists in the renaissance

Despite obstacles, women became exceptional artists in the Renaissance

Juan de Flandes, <em>Marriage at Cana</em>
Juan de Flandes, Marriage at Cana

Jesus changes water into wine in Renaissance Spain

Why commission artwork during the renaissance?
Why commission artwork during the renaissance?

Find out more about why patrons commissioned artworks during the renaissance.

Bringing the figure to life
Bringing the figure to life

The Spanish Michelangelo? Looking closely at a figure by Alonso Berruguete

Gil de Siloé, The Tomb of Juan II of Castile and Isabel of Portugal
Gil de Siloé, The Tomb of Juan II of Castile and Isabel of Portugal

If you suddenly found yourself the heir to a royal throne, what steps would you take to advertise that you are indeed the rightful inheritor?

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