The sixteenth century in Europe was a time of unprecedented change. It was the beginning of the modern era, and it saw a revolution in almost every aspect of life. The century opened with the discovery of a new continent


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Francisco de Zurbarán, though not of quite the same stature as Velázquez and El Greco, was a fine painter specializing in a severe variant of the Baroque Realist style. His religious paintings, like St. Serapion, show a secularization of religious subject matter and bold use of light and shadow reminiscent of Caravaggio. In fact, the Italian was the major influence on the Spaniard's work, but Zurbarán somehow makes the style his own by adding a new simplicity and sobriety to Realism.



Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660), commonly referred to as Diego Velázquez, was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary baroque period, important as a portrait artist. He lived in Italy for a year and a half from 1629 to 1631 with the purpose of traveling and studying works of art. In 1649 he traveled to Italy again. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he created scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family, other notable European figures, and commoners, culminating in the production of his masterpiece, Las Meninas (1656).

  • Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660), commonly referred to as Diego Velázquez, was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary baroque period, important as a portrait artist. He lived in Italy for a year and a half from 1629 to 1631 with the purpose of traveling and studying works of art. In 1649 he traveled to Italy again. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he created scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family, other notable European figures, and commoners, culminating in the production of his masterpiece, Las Meninas (1656).









An artist whose many religious paintings emphasized the peaceful, joyous aspects of spiritual life, Bartolome Murillo was the first Spanish painter to achieve renown throughout Europe. In addition to the enormous popularity of his works in his native Seville, Murillo was much admired in other countries, particularly England. Here his influence can be seen in the paintings of Sir Joshua Reynolds and John Constable, who painted during the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • An artist whose many religious paintings emphasized the peaceful, joyous aspects of spiritual life, Bartolome Murillo was the first Spanish painter to achieve renown throughout Europe. In addition to the enormous popularity of his works in his native Seville, Murillo was much admired in other countries, particularly England. Here his influence can be seen in the paintings of Sir Joshua Reynolds and John Constable, who painted during the 18th and 19th centuries.





Briefly trained by Juan de Castillo, Bartolome Esteban Murillo made his early living by selling poorly executed religious painting at public fairs. In 1648, he moved to Madrid and met Velazquez, who introduced his work to the Spanish royal court. He began painting Franciscan saints for the monastery in Seville, and later produced genre paintings of the poor and homeless. In 1660 he co-founded the Seville Academy and was its first president. Murillo died from a fall while painting an altarpiece in 1682.

  • Briefly trained by Juan de Castillo, Bartolome Esteban Murillo made his early living by selling poorly executed religious painting at public fairs. In 1648, he moved to Madrid and met Velazquez, who introduced his work to the Spanish royal court. He began painting Franciscan saints for the monastery in Seville, and later produced genre paintings of the poor and homeless. In 1660 he co-founded the Seville Academy and was its first president. Murillo died from a fall while painting an altarpiece in 1682.



Baroque architecture, starting in the early 17th century in Italy, took the humanist Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical, theatrical, sculptural fashion, expressing the triumph of absolutist church and state. New architectural concerns for color, light and shade, sculptural values and intensity characterize the Baroque.

  • Baroque architecture, starting in the early 17th century in Italy, took the humanist Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical, theatrical, sculptural fashion, expressing the triumph of absolutist church and state. New architectural concerns for color, light and shade, sculptural values and intensity characterize the Baroque.







Art flourished in Flanders and the Low Countries in what is called the “Baroque” period in the arts, whenever violent conflict did not disrupt the region. The Netherlands were divided: the northern Protestant Dutch provinces fought for independence; whilst the southern Catholic part remained under Spanish rule.

  • Art flourished in Flanders and the Low Countries in what is called the “Baroque” period in the arts, whenever violent conflict did not disrupt the region. The Netherlands were divided: the northern Protestant Dutch provinces fought for independence; whilst the southern Catholic part remained under Spanish rule.





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