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.

videos + essays

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Female artists in the renaissance
Female artists in the renaissance

Despite obstacles, women became exceptional artists in the Renaissance

A wedding and a miracle for the queen of Spain
A wedding and a miracle for the queen of Spain

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 that your family members felt belonged to them, then what steps would you take to advertise that you are indeed the rightful inheritor?

The Renaissance in Spain, The Morata Master
The Renaissance in Spain, The Morata Master

Get to know fifteenth-century Aragonese painting, which draws on Italian and Northern Renaissance influences.

St. Michael defeats the devil in Renaissance Spain
St. Michael defeats the devil in Renaissance Spain

Roll over Bellini, and tell Tintoretto the news. The Renaissance in Spain.

Bartolomé Bermejo, <em>Piedad with Canon Lluís Desplà</em>
Bartolomé Bermejo, Piedad with Canon Lluís Desplà

Two years before the Spanish expel the Jews and begin their invasion of the Americas, an artist paints an image of redemption.

Fifteenth-century Spanish painting, an introduction
Fifteenth-century Spanish painting, an introduction

The Northern Renaissance style comes to Spain and is gloriously transformed.

Expanding the Renaissance: a new Smarthistory initiative
Expanding the Renaissance: a new Smarthistory initiative

Must all renaissance art history trumpet the achievements of famed artists such as Masaccio, Leonardo and Van Eyck? Can we center other narratives?

The Renaissance in Spain
The Renaissance in Spain

Stretching from Europe to the Philippines, the Spanish Empire amassed great wealth—and spent lavishly on art.

Selected Contributors